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  • Colton Pankiewicz

Canisius introduces Jim Christian as new men’s basketball coach

By Colton Pankiewicz , Sports Editor

Canisius held their introductory press conference on Thursday, where President Steve Stoute, Athletic Director Bill Maher and the program’s newest head coach, Jim Christian, all spoke.

Maher, who has served as Canisius’ athletic director since 2005, said that during the search he was specifically looking for a proven winner at the mid-major level; someone who had experience with recruiting in the northeast. With multiple MAC Championships under his belt, Christian emerged as the top candidate. 

Christian stood up at the podium for over 20 minutes and talked about his vision with the program, who he is as a person and as a coach, and more. In terms of play style, Christian said that his team will play fast, and if a team is able to match that pace, they’ll have to play smart. A “tough as nails” mentality is what Christian hopes to build with the program. The once MAC championship winning coach said that his players are going to have to match his energy and that his goal of course, is “to leave a tremendous impact and win championships.” Christian later added that his focus is set on this year; that the goal is to win now.

Christian said that one of the main reasons why he chose Canisius was the “intimacy” that he felt the campus provided. Something unique for him in the hiring process was the ability for Christian to visit the school and have dinner with President Stoute.

Maher announced after the press conference that athletics will launch a collective to help raise funds for NILs ,with the priority to retain players off of last year's roster, before they use it externally. Several players from last year’s roster attended the press conference including Frank Mitchell, Bryce Okpoh, Tre Dinkins, Siem Uijtendaal and Xzavier Long, with all of them being prime candidates for the collective. As it stands, Mitchell, Dinkins, Uijtendaal and Long are in the transfer portal. With the deadline for the National Letter of Intent set for May 15th, the new Canisius basketball head coach has just over a month to find high school talent. 

Canisius president Steve Stoute portrayed the excitement within the building with his closing statement, “Today is a great day to be a Griff.” 

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