Dick Offenhamer

Dick Offenhamer

Class of 1932

Sport(s): Baseball | Football

Year Inducted: 2002

Dick Offenhamer graduated from Bennett in 1932 after an outstanding athletic career. In his senior year he was named to the All-High football team as a halfback. He wasn’t very tall but he was exceptionally quick and was a bulldog competitor. Offie also lettered in basketball and baseball, perhaps not realizing at the time that his experience at Bennett as an athlete and student would prepare him for a remarkable teaching-coaching career.

From Bennett, he went on to Colgate, where he was an excellent halfback and also caught for the baseball team. He was good enough to play professional baseball, with Olean of the PONY League. Offie moved into coaching quickly after graduating from Colgate in the spring of 1936. Four months later he coached his first game at Kenmore High, and began a football dynasty. In 11 years his teams won 50 of 57 games. He also taught at Kenmore.

His performance caught the eye of the athletic department at Colgate and in 194 7 he returned to the Chenango Valley as the head freshman football coach at Colgate. Eight years later he was ready for a major college coaching position. He became head football coach at the University of Buffalo-not far from the North Buffalo neighborhood where he grew up- and eventually elevated the
program to national prominence.

In 11 seasons he coached UB to 59 wins, 37 losses, and 5 ties. Undoubtedly his best team was in 1957 when the Bulls won the Lambert Trophy as the number one small college football team in the East. He suddenly decided to step down in 1966, wearied by the grind of coaching for 30 years. He returned to teaching, at Kenmore East High School, but never coached again and retired from teaching a number of years later.

Indicative of his impact on Western New York sports, Offie was named to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

He passed away in 1998.