HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – Jim Kubiak, a former professional quarterback and longtime member of the local football community, was chosen to lead the new Division III football program at Hilbert College.
The small, Franciscan college on South Park Avenue plans to start competing in football next fall. The Hawks are still in negotiations to join a conference.
“I am confident that Jim Kubiak has the experience and vision to successfully lead our football program and build the foundation to compete at the NCAA Division III level,” said Hilbert College President Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D. “More importantly, I know Jim has the character and integrity to create a culture that will emphasize respect, honor, and Franciscan values. It is our intention to be an asset to the Western New York community, continuing to foster strong ties to the City of Buffalo and the Southtowns.”
Kubiak was an Arena Football League all-star who also played in NFL Europe and spent time on the Jets’ practice squad. He is the all-time leading passer at Navy (1991-94) and has coaching experience in the AFL and at Division II Mansfield University. He also runs the Western New York Quarterback Academy.
“I am both humbled and honored to have the opportunity to develop the Hilbert Football Program from the ground up,” Kubiak said in a release. “Perhaps the most exciting aspect will be the chance to serve student-athletes in the WNY Region, fulfilling dreams of competing at the collegiate level while earning an outstanding education. It will be our mission to build a culture of championship quality and to set a standard of performance on and off the field, challenging our athletes to reach for all that they can be.”
Los Angeles Chargers general manger Tom Telesco, a former teammate of Kubiak’s, praised the hire.
“Quite simply, Jimmy is one of the best leaders I have ever been around,” Telesco said in the release. “This is a home run hire for Hilbert College.”
The college announced the creation of its football program last week while also announcing it is adding Division III women’s ice hockey as well as men’s and women’s track and field.
Hilbert has launched a capital campaign for a new track and field complex, which would also feature a football field with artificial turf, the school said in a release. The Hawks will compete in football and track and field at St. Francis High School in the meantime, while the women’s ice hockey program will play at the Town of Hamburg Ice Arena on Lakeview Road.
Hilbert reporting having 686 undergraduates in 2019-20, the most recent year for which NCAA data is available.
Kubiak will be introduced at a 11:30 a.m. press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.