Winning Attitude

March 12, 2019


BUFFALO, NY - The last three words of the Athletic Department’s mission statement say it all: EXPECT TO WIN. 

Certainly, the competitiveness of Canisius’ teams has been on a steady trajectory for some time, though 2018 – as Nick Veronica ’13 elaborates in Long Shot - was one of the winningest and most spectacular years in the history of Canisius athletics. 

The expectation of winning on the field is equally matched by the mindset that Canisius student-athletes succeed in the classroom.  And like any game that lands in the win column, the numbers tell the story at Canisius:

•19 of 20 varsity programs boast a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better

• 13 varsity programs recorded a team GPA of 3.25 or higher in fall 2018.

• Even more telling is the latest NCAA report on graduation success rates. At 96.5 percent, Canisius scores higher in this category than the national average for other Division I schools in the NCAA.

“Participation in Division I athletics puts exceptional demands on student-athletes’ time and energy. However at Canisius, we underscore that they’re students first,” says Director of Athletics Bill Maher ’89

Helping to ensure they achieve the necessary balance are faculty, coaches, student-athlete advisers and administrators who all contribute to GRIFFS Life Skills.  Originally implemented by the NCAA, the initiative is designed to support the development of student-athletes in five major areas: academics, athletics, community service, personal development and career development. 

“Our goal is to develop well-rounded student-athletes who prepare and compete in each contest – as well as in the classroom – with the expectation of winning,” says Maher. 



Canisius College Academic Points of Pride


Number of Student-Athletes

(as of fall 2018)



Varsity Athletic Programs



Teams that scored a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher



Combined GPA Fall 2018


Track & Cross Country

Men’s Team with Highest Cumulative GPA (3.52)


Track & Cross Country

Women’s Team with Highest Cumulative Team GPA (3.39)


96.5 %

Graduation Success Rate for Student-Athletes



Athletes in Service


Student-athletes participated



Hours of service completed



Children’s sport camps and clinics offered



Children who attend sport camps and clinics on the Canisius campus