Scott Hemer tabbed new Canisius women’s basketball head coach

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Scott Hemer will become the ninth head coach in Canisius women’s basketball history. (Photo courtesy of SUNY Geneseo)

By Marshall Haim

Sports Editor

After a month and a half search for a head coach, Canisius athletic director Bill Maher announced Monday that Scott Hemer would assume the role as the ninth head coach in Canisius women’s basketball program history.

Over the last 11 seasons, Hemer has been the head coach at SUNY Geneseo, a Division III school approximately 60 miles east of Canisius. The Knights went 23-2 overall and 18-0 in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play this past season. It was their second straight year with a perfect 18-0 record in the conference.

In Hemer’s tenure at Geneseo, he aided the Knights in compiling an overall record of 218-89 (.710), going 149-46 (.764) in SUNYAC play.

Geneseo would appear in their fifth straight SUNYAC championship game, claiming their first title in three years. It was the program’s sixth SUNYAC title. It was also the fourth straight year Geneseo had appeared in the Division III tournament.

If that doesn’t assure the dominance that Geneseo has had in the SUNYAC recently, the Knights have won 40 consecutive regular season conference games, dating back to 2015-16. In that span, Hemer has held an overall record of 74-13 (a .851 win percentage), including a 50-4 (.926) mark in SUNYAC play.

Hemer, who has been a basketball coach for the past 22 years, has been a coach at the collegiate ranks for the last 17 years. His overall record is 365-129 (.739).

“It is an honor to be selected as the next women’s basketball coach at Canisius and I am humbled and excited by the opportunity I have been presented,” Hemer said in a press release. “I would like to thank President John J. Hurley and Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Terri Mangione for their efforts and I look forward to working with them in the future. I would also like to express my gratitude to Bill Maher and his staff for putting their faith in me to lead the program.

“With a proud tradition of academics and athletics, my family and I are excited to join the Golden Griffin community. I am looking forward to working with the team, building relationships in the college community and creating a culture that expects success on and off the court.”

Following a five-year stint as the girls’ varsity basketball coach at Gowanda High School, Hemer spent six years at Genesee Community College in Batavia. That’s where he led the Cougars to a record of 147-40 (.786).

In what was his final year at GCC, the Cougars went on to claim the NJCAA Western New York Athletic Conference, NJCAA Region III and NJCAA District C championships, earning a spot in the NJCAA National Tournament.

Hemer’s teams have been known for being extremely efficient offensively, averaging 62.7 points per game while shooting at a 40.1 clip from the field and 31.5 percent from three-point range. His teams were also well known for their presence underneath the basket averaging 43.2 rebounds per contest.

He is a five-time SUNYAC Coach of the Year, first earning the honor in 2011. Hemer has been named the SUNYAC Coach of the Year each of the last four seasons.

“Scott Hemer is a proven head coach who has developed winning programs at each stop of his coaching career and I am excited that he will be leading our women’s basketball team,” Maher stated in a press release. “Scott’s commitment to developing student-athletes and his experience building programs make him the right person to lead Canisius women’s basketball, and I look forward to working with him to bring our program back to a championship level.”

The North Collins, N.Y. native takes over for Terry Zeh, who spent 14 years at the helm of the program. Zeh’s contract was not renewed after a 10-21 overall record last season with an 8-12 record inside Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play for the third consecutive year.

Canisius is looking for their first winning record, both overall and in MAAC play, since 2008-09.

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