The Division I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on Thursday announced a change that will have local influence: The president of Niagara University, the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., will be the new 2020-21 conference president.
"This is a critical year for the conference as we work closely with schools to ensure the health and safety of our student athletes and each campus community," Maher said.
The position was previously held by Gregory G. Dell'Omo of Rider University. Last year Maher was vice president of the MAAC.
"This year is an important one for the MAAC and collegiate sports in general as the conference membership works through the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic," MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor said. "We are confident that Father Maher will assuredly and effectively lead the conference as the sports world navigates through its current climate."
Now the MAAC's leadership board includes two locals: Maher and Canisius College's Director of Athletics, Bill Maher, who is the new Chair of the Committee on Athletic Administration.
Additionally, Dr. Patrick F. Leahy, president of Monmouth University, sits on the MAAC board as vice president, MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor is the secretary and treasurer, and the Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA at Quinnipiac University, Sarah Fraser, is vice chair for MAAC.
"It will also be important for us to appropriately celebrate the 40th year of the MAAC conference, and its continued commitment to integrity in the classroom and excellence on the playing field," Maher said.
Maher has served as president of Niagara University since 2013.