Head Coach
Dermot McGrane

A two-time MAAC Coach of the Year, Dermot McGrane is in his sixth season leading the Golden Griffin men’s soccer program. McGrane, who was named the school’s 14th head coach on Jan. 21, 2011, spent the prior nine years turning Niagara University into one of the top programs in the MAAC.

It took less than five years for McGrane to duplicate the process with the Griffs and turn Canisius into a MAAC contender. In just his second season on campus in 2012, the program enjoyed one of the most successful campaigns in the school’s history. The team received votes in the national poll for the first time in its history and reached as high as second in the NSCAA North Atlantic poll.

Canisius has continued to raise the bar since its breakthrough 2012 campaign. In 2014, the Griffs set or matched 11 school records, highlighted by a program-best nine wins. Canisius also capped the successful campaign by winning the inaugural Big 4 Shield – an annual competition among the four local soccer schools (Canisius, Buffalo, Niagara and St. Bonaventure). Overall, the first two classes recruited by McGrane graduated as the most successful classes in program history, with the 2015 seniors winning a school-record 32 games.

On an individual level, McGrane has helped a number of student-athletes at Canisius elevate their game. In 2012, the Griffs had two players garner regional All-America accolades in the same season for the first time in school history when Gavin Falconer was named to the NSCAA All-North Atlantic First Team and Asani Samuels collected third-team accolades. Samuels, who repeated as an all-region honoree in 2013 and 2014 to become the first three-time recipient in the program’s history, also became the first Griff under McGrane to ink a professional contract when he signed with the Rochester Rhinos. The Canisius standout wasted no time in making an impact at the next level as Samuels scored the tying goal in stoppage time and the game winner in overtime in the 2015 USL Championship to earn MVP honors.

The process of turning Canisius into a premier program is a familiar one for McGrane. The winningest head coach in Niagara history, McGrane inherited a program that won only 27 games in the 11 seasons prior to his arrival and then took the team to six MAAC Championship Tournament appearances, including the program's first title game in 2009.

Overall, McGrane led Niagara to 61 wins in his nine seasons, including 39 conference victories and seven seasons of at least a .500 winning percentage versus MAAC foes. His success with the Purple Eagles did not go unnoticed by his peers, earning MAAC Coach of the Year accolades in back-to-back seasons following the 2005 and 2006 campaigns.

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Former Mercyhurst University standout Michael Blythe joined the Canisius Men’s Soccer program as an  assistant coach in March 2019. A native of Hull, England, Blythe assists head coach Dermot McGrane in all aspects of the program. “I have known Mickey for a number of years and I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with him, McGrane said. “We are very fortunate to have someone of Mickey’s caliber and experience join our staff. Our players will benefit greatly by working with him.” Blythe joined the Golden Griffins after four seasons as the head coach at nearby Medaille College, compiling an overall record of 49-23-7 and a 26-6-4 ledger in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play. He led the Mavericks to three-straight appearances in the AMCC Championship game as well as the program’s seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament after claiming the league crown in 2017. During his time at Medaille, Blythe was instrumental in the individual development of his players, coaching 29 All-AMCC performers, 11 All-AMCC First-Team selections, two AMCC Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Year selections, and 3 United Soccer Coaches Great Lakes Regional All-American honorees. ‘I’m delighted to be part of the Golden Griffin family,” Blythe said. I am extremely grateful to Coach McGrane for this opportunity and am excited to work with our players.”   Blythe joined Medaille after spending two seasons as the head coach at Mercyhurst North East. While coaching at the NJCAA institution, Blythe led the Saints to a 19-13 record in two years, including a program-best 10 wins in 2014. He also led National Premier Soccer League powerhouse Erie Admirals (now Commodores) in 2014, after a four-year stint as assistant coach from 2009-13. Erie reached the Admirals to three NPSL Final Four appearances during his tenure.  Blythe enjoyed a stellar playing career at Mercyhurst. The former forward was a four-year starter (2001-05) for the Lakers, finishing as the program's career record holder in both goals (56) and points (138). He also ranks second on the program's all-time chart for assists (26).The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Freshman of the Year in 2001 and a three-time GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year, Blythe was a four-time all-conference selection. He was named to the second team as a freshman and was a first-team pick the final three campaigns. His career highlights also include US PDL experience with the Cocoa Expo’s (Fla.) and West Michigan Edge, with the signing of a professional contract with Hull City in England serving as the pinnacle of his playing career.