NIAGARA UNIVERSITY N.Y. – Father James J. Maher already had an impressive array of accomplishments before he came to Niagara, but since then he has continued to build his legacy, all while having a strong influence on those around.
However, one of his biggest accomplishments to date came earlier this fall. On Sept. 27th, Father Maher was named to the NCAA Board of Governors. He is now one of just 16 voting ballot members.
“I’m really excited to be a part of it and learn how diverse each level is,” Fr. Maher said.
Fr. Maher already has a lot of experience working with the NCAA. He was elected to the NCAA Board of Directors in August of 2016, and has always had a passion for enhancing the college experience for athletes.
“I’ve been on the Division 1 board for 2 1/2 years,” Fr. Maher explained. “I first had the opportunity as a campus minister at St. John’s University. I learned that if you want to build relationships with student-athletes, you need to go out to them. It’s about building bridges between campus ministries and student-athletes.”
It’s same to say that Fr. Maher is a man with a lot of ambition, with a passion for everyone around him. From his years working with a wide range of student-athletes from all different backgrounds, he emphasizes the hard work that student-athletes put in on a daily basis both in the classroom, and in competition.
“There’s great learning that students have in their competition,” Fr. Maher stated. “Having that experience has helped me to have that knowledge.”
The passion that Fr. Maher has for student-athletes will certainly continue as he transitions into his new role. Members of the Board of Governors must ensure that all levels of the NCAA continue to adhere to the basic rules and regulations of the NCAA. Fr. Maher has his goals in mind for what he wishes to accomplish in his new position.
“Continue to focus on reforms in the NCAA,” Fr. Maher elaborated. “To be able to support student-athletes with time management and wellness, and make their accomplishments known to the public.”
While this latest achievement for Fr. Maher is a rewarding honor for himself, he’s also positive that his election to the Board of Governors will be a boost for the NU community as well.
“Hopefully it elevates Niagara,” Fr. Maher stated. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be among people from schools like Kentucky, Georgia and Big East schools. It creates a nice national perk.