Named Director of Athletics in May 2005, Bill Maher is in his eighth year back in the Blue and Gold.
Under Maher's watch, the Golden Griffins have enjoyed unprecedented success. In his seven seasons, Canisius teams have advanced to eight NCAA Tournaments in addition to a WNIT appearance in 2009, marking the most successful seven-year run in the school's history.
Most recently, the Canisius lacrosse programs enjoyed the most successful year in conference history with both the men's and women's teams winning MAAC Championships in 2012 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. It marked the first time that one school swept both titles in the same season. In addition, the synchronized swimming team continued their dominance during the 2011-12 season, winning the program's 15th-straight ECAC Championship.
Overall, the 17 Canisius squads have accumulated 29 conference or regional championships under Maher's leadership, with a number of teams producing the best seasons in program history. The Canisius campus has also undergone a number of renovations, including upgrades to the Demske Sports Complex and Koessler Athletic Center.
During the past seven seasons, 34 student-athletes have won conference player or rookie of the year awards, including six in each of the past two seasons. Prior to Maher's arrival, Canisius won 24 player or rookie of the year awards in the previous 10 seasons combined.
The achievements of Griffs go past graduation as well. Under Maher's watch, 13 players have been drafted professionally. In 2011, Canisius was the only school in the country with two first-round selections in the National Lacrosse League Draft. In addition, former Griff John Axford pitches with the Milwaukee Brewers, while two hockey graduates have signed NHL contracts.
To go along with the school's success on a team and individual level, Canisius has controlled the Battle of the Bridge series with local rival Niagara University. In four of the last five campaigns, the Griffs have claimed the Canal Cup, which is an all-sports competition between the two neighboring schools.
On an academic level during Maher's tenure, Canisius has had 21 student-athletes recognized on the district level as Capital One CoSIDA All-Academic selections, including seven Capital One Academic All-Americans during the last three years.
Maher has overseen numerous renovations to the Koessler Athletic Center and the Demske Sports Complex. A new Center for Athletic Training opened in May 2007. New locker rooms were constructed for all female teams and finished in 2008, while the men and women's basketball teams each received new locker rooms in the summer of 2008. The Demske Sports Complex received a $1.7 million facelift with the installation of new A-Turf as well as new scoreboards in 2008. New offices for head coaches and their assistants along with new locker rooms for all of the men's teams were constructed in 2010.
GoGriffs.com, the official web site of Canisius athletics, has undergone two redesigns under Maher. The department has also developed a video webstreaming package for all home events in seven sports (men's and women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball and men's and women's lacrosse) and is a part of the MAAC.TV package.
Maher is the MAAC's representative to the NCAA Legislative Council, which has one representative from each of the 31 Division I conferences. He chairs the MAAC men's lacrosse committee and is also a member of the MAAC Technology Committee. Canisius has hosted eight MAAC Championships since 2005 and will also be hosting the 2013 Swimming and Diving Championships and the 2013 Women's Lacrosse Championship.
A Canisius graduate and former assistant athletic director at the school, Maher spent seven years at the University at Buffalo and served as the Bulls' interim athletic director from 2003-05.
During his tenure as the interim athletic director at Buffalo, Maher helped UB Athletics oversee $3.6 million in capital improvements to its athletic facilities, restructure the school's Blue & White Club fund drive for athletics, which generated $1 million during the 2003-04 season, and develop marketing campaigns which increased attendance at athletic events.
He also oversaw the development of the men's basketball program, which set a school record for victories and earned the first postseason bid in school history with an invitation to the 2005 National Invitation Tournament. Under his watch, the Bulls' RPI increased from 284 in 2003 to as high as 34 during the 2004-05 season.
Maher was a four-year letterwinner on the Canisius College football team from 1985-88 and earned All-America honorable mention honors as a senior. He received his bachelor's degree in physical education from Canisius in 1989 and his master's degree in sport management from East Stroudsburg University in 1990. Following an internship with the New York Knicks, Maher returned to Canisius in 1991, becoming the assistant athletic director for compliance in 1994.
He became the director of compliance at the University at Buffalo in 1998, where he moved up the ranks and was named senior associate athletic director in 2002. In that role, he managed the day-to-day operations of the Division of Athletics, including the direct supervision of Buffalo's football and men's and women's basketball programs, in addition to the office of compliance and the office of student-athlete services.
Maher resides in East Amherst with his wife, Kristin, and sons, Danny and David.