Canisius announces that Jim Christian has been hired as its next head coach

Canisius announced on Monday that it was hiring Jim Christian to be the Golden Griffins’ new head men’s basketball coach. This will be the fifth D-I head coaching job for Christian, who previously worked at Boston College (2014-21), Ohio (2012-14), TCU (2008-12) and Kent State (2002-08).

“Jim Christian comes to Canisius with a proven track record of 19 years of head coaching experience, a solid reputation as a leader who develops young men into successful teams and a commitment to being an engaging campus partner who understands and appreciates the Jesuit mission of Canisius University,” AD Bill Maher said. “We are thrilled to welcome Jim, and his family, to Canisius and the city of Buffalo. I look forward to working with him as we build this program, focused on our goal of competing for MAAC Championships.”

Christian is 320-286 overall as a head coach but was most successful at Kent State, leading the Golden Flashes to two NCAA Tournaments, three NITs and four MAC titles. He later won another MAC title at Ohio in 2013 had several other postseason trips, but has yet to be back in the NCAA Tournament as a coach since 2008.

The 59-year-old New York native has been back at Kent State the last couple year working as assistant athletic director of basketball administration, and was there for the Flashes’ most recent NCAA Tournament a year ago. Prior to his time as a head coach, he played for or worked under a number of big name head coaches, including Ralph Willard, Rick Pitino, Tom Penders and Herb Sendek.

“It is an honor and a privilege for me to be named the next head men’s basketball coach at Canisius University,” Christian said. “I would like to thank President Steve Stoute and Athletic Director Bill Maher for this tremendous opportunity. I am confident that I will be able to use the things I have learned in my 19 years as a head coach and put those into practice at Canisius on day one. Canisius is a special place. The close, family atmosphere I experienced on my visit there last week just further proved to me that Canisius is the right place for me, both personally and professionally. I am ready to get to Buffalo and I am ready to get to work.”

The Griffins have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1996 and haven’t played any postseason tournaments since the 2018 CBI. The school parted ways with former head coach Reggie Witherspoon last month after eight seasons, with the team going just 35-58 over the last three seasons.


credit to Canisius Athletics for the image