Long-time Niagara University head coach Al Dirschberger is entering his second year on the Canisius softball coaching staff, joining Mike Rappl officially on Aug. 1, 2012. Dirschberger retired from his post as the Purple Eagles' head coach after 22 seasons following the 2012 campaign. In his time at Niagara, Dirschberger was named the MAAC's Coach of the Year two times (1997 and 2007) and helped lead the program to its only NCAA Tournament berth in 1998 when the Purple Eagles won the conferfence's postseason tournament crown.
Dirschberger ended his 22-year reign at Niagara as the program's winningest softball coach and helped the Purple Eagles win the 1998 MAAC Championship, which earned the team a berth in the NCAA Tournament. In that year, Dirschberger's squad defeated Robert Morris in the NCAA play-in round in a best-of-three series, joining Rappl as the only two conference coaches to earn an NCAA Tournament victory.
In his time at Mount Eagle Ridge, he coached three MAAC Players of the Year, three MAAC Rookie of the Year, a total of 36 all-conference players and 89 MAAC All-Academic honorees. A 1997 graduate of Medaille College, Dirschberger spent six years coaching football, basketball and track and field at Cheektowaga Central High School prior to taking over the Niagara softball program. He also coached the St. Mary's High School girl's basketball team from 1993-2000.