Michael is taking over the Marauder program after six successful seasons as the boys’ Head Varsity Coach at Williamsville South High School. During his tenure, the program racked up the most wins in school history during the 2015-16 season, made the first ever trip to the New York State Tournament Final Four, and won back to back Section 6 championships. Michael will fill the role previously held by Coach Mark Simon, who retired from the position in February.
“We were very fortunate to have some incredible candidates express strong interest in the position,” stated Brian Anken, St. Joe’s Director of Athletics. “But Gabe’s track record of success in building a solid program while earning the respect of so many in the basketball community was really impressive.”
Michael’s inspiration for a career in coaching began at Xavier University, where he served as a team manager while earning his bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship in 2004. From 2005 to 2012, he spent seven straight years coaching college basketball at both Division I and Division III schools, including Canisius College and Medaille College.
Working with and learning from talented coaches along the way, Michael enjoyed being a part of several championship seasons including two NCAA Tournament appearances while part of the Medaille College program. The opportunity to join the D1 Canisius College program presented itself in 2010, and he began working toward his master’s degree in Sport Administration from the school which he completed in 2013.
“Gabe’s experience and success at both the high school and college level make him well-equipped to take on this role,” stated St. Joe’s President Robert T. Scott, AFSC. “More importantly, it was clear to many involved in the search process that he truly believes in developing student-athletes that will not only thrive on the court, but also in the classroom and the community.”
Michael’s success leading the Williamsville South program has not gone unnoticed by the league and his peers. During the past six years, Michael has received many coaching awards including being named the ECIC II Coach of the Year a total of four times and All-ECIC Coach of the Year two times.
However, Michael is the first to downplay these accolades and boast of team successes. Under his coaching leadership, the South squad won five consecutive ECIC II league championships and Class A sectional final games. He is eager to join the St. Joe’s Athletic Department and build on the success of the many legendary coaches who have served the school over many decades.
“The tradition that St. Joe’s basketball has in the Western New York area is unmatched, and I would like to thank Mr. Scott, Brian Anken, and the rest of the search committee for believing in the vision that I presented to them,” stated Michael. “We have lots of hard work in front of us, but I could not be more excited for this opportunity.”