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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: The All-American boy

     October 2, 1989 -- "Say, aren't you a little young to be a head basketball coach at a college?"

     Jack Armstrong probably heard that a lot on his first weeks on the job. Armstrong was hired as the head coach at Niagara at the not-so-ripe-old age of 26.

    "I'm very excited and I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Armstrong at a news conference.

     The move wasn't particularly well timed, since the start of practice was right around the corner. Former Purple Eagles coach Andy Walker had resigned a few days before. Armstrong had been as assistant under Walker.

     "The timing is not good, no question about it," Armstrong said. "It's a shame it had to happen. Andy was great to me. He recommended me for the job, and I'm thankful to him for all his help."

     Armstrong stayed at Niagara for nine seasons (100-154), and then made the difficult transition to television analyst successfully. He's become extremely popular in Canada.

--- Budd Bailey

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