Smith gets contract extension at Canisius through ’16-17 season

Canisius head coach Dave Smith has signed a contract extension that will keep him behind the bench of the program through the 2016-17 season.

Smith is entering his ninth season in 2013-14 in charge of the Golden Griffins after leading the school to its first conference championship during the 2012-13 campaign in Atlantic Hockey with a 19-19-5 overall record and a 12-13-2 mark in the AHA.

“Dave has done a tremendous job in building Canisius into a championship level program in the Atlantic Hockey Association, which was evident with the team’s run to the program’s first conference championship and NCAA tournament berth in 2013,” Canisius director of athletics Bill Maher said in a statement. “He continues to recruit outstanding student-athletes who represent what is best about Canisius, both on and off the ice. This past season was another positive step for Canisius College hockey and we are thrilled that Dave will lead the program as we continue building on last season’s success.”

During the 2012-13 season, Canisius won its first AHA title with a 7-2 win over Mercyhurst and advanced to the NCAA East Regional semifinal, bowing out to Quinnipiac. The Griffs also finished the season ranked 19th in the final Division I Men’s Poll, the program’s highest placement in the national rankings.

Canisius also received national attention after the success of 2011 graduate Cory Conacher, the 2009-10 AHA player of the year who became the first Griff to play in the NHL when he totaled 29 points in 47 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators this past season.

“Susan and I are thrilled and very thankful for the opportunity to continue to play a role at Canisius College,” Smith added. “We are already looking forward to next season and building on the success of our program. I am very grateful to the Canisius community because of the commitment it has shown to developing leaders both on and off the ice. President Hurley, Bill Maher and John Maddock have been great leaders for Griffs hockey and it is a really exciting time for our program.”