Canisius Director of Athletics Bill Maher announced today that Sahar Nusseibeh (pronounced new-SAY-bay) has been named the head coach of the Canisius women’s basketball program. A long-time assistant coach with 12 years of Division I coaching experience, Nusseibeh takes over the Canisius program after spending the previous two seasons at Miami University where she also held the title of defensive coordinator.
Nusseibeh will be the 10th head coach in program history. The Uniontown, Ohio, native will be formally introduced to the media at a press conference in the Griffin Team Meeting Room on the second floor of the Koessler Athletic Center on Tuesday, July 27 at 2 p.m.
“We are excited to welcome Sahar Nussiebeh to the Canisius College. We set out to find a leader who will develop young women on and off the court, and I am confident Sahar will be a tremendous coach and mentor for the women in our program,” Maher said. “Coach Nusseibeh is a respected recruiter and developer of talent who has experience both in our league and within our region. Her work helping rebuild the Manhattan program into a championship contender within our own conference was something that impressed me.
“Sahar is someone who has shown the ability to build strong working relationships with student-athletes, athletic department staff members and across campus. I am looking forward to working with her to bring our program back to a championship level in the MAAC.”
As the defensive coordinator at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Nusseibeh was responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of team and individual defensive concepts. She also worked on game planning the team’s defensive strategies and was in charge of all defensive play calls and in-game adjustments during timeouts and in-game action. Prior to joining the Redhawks’ staff, she spent three seasons (2016-17 through 2018-19) as the associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator at Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y.
“I am thrilled and honored to join Canisius College and serve as head coach of our women’s basketball program,” Nusseibeh said. “From the moment I walked into the Koessler Athletic Center and met with fellow head coaches, administrators and most importantly, the student-athletes, I knew this was the perfect place to build something special. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work alongside such high-quality people who possess a ‘find a way’ mindset, who have pride in Canisius College and who put the well-being and development of our student-athletes first.
“I look forward to bringing my best to Buffalo and surrounding these young women with nothing but the best; from our staff to the environment we create and the experiences we provide. Every day, we will be committed to working with the intention of building Canisius women’s basketball to reach and achieve its best. I would like to thank President John J. Hurley, Director of Athletics Bill Maher and the rest of the College’s administration for this incredible opportunity. I am ready to work and begin the process of building something great at Canisius. Go Griffs!”
In her time at Manhattan, Nusseibeh played a key role in recruiting and coaching five All-MAAC selections, two MAAC All-Rookie Team honorees and the 2019 MAAC Women’s Defensive Player of the Year. One of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) “Thirty Under 30” honorees in 2016, Nusseibeh led the Jaspers’ defensive efforts which saw Manhattan rank among the top-five in the MAAC in scoring defense, blocked shots and turnovers forced in three-straight seasons. In her final year at Manhattan, the Jaspers ranked 17th nationally in scoring defense (56.3 points per game allowed), while ranking in the top-100 nationally in field goal percentage defense (75th), steals per game (76th), blocked shots per game (63rd) and turnovers forced (79th).
Nusseibeh was a part of the Bowling Green coaching staff for three seasons (2013-14 through 2015-16) and helped lead the Falcons to a 2013-14 Mid-American Conference regular season crown after the team went 30-5 overall and 17-1 in league play. She recruited and coached five All-MAC honorees, including an All-America selection, and she played a key role in helping Bowling Green earn three-straight WBCA Top-25 Team Academic Awards. Nusseibeh began her collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Cincinnati, where she was the video coordinator, academic liaison and assisted in coaching the post players. She then spent two seasons at Holy Cross as an assistant coach where she also handled video operations and worked with the posts. Prior to beginning her collegiate coaching career, Nusseibeh completed internships with the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream (2007) and Washington Mystics (2009), and worked with USA Basketball on preparing the U19 World University Games teams for competitions in Thailand and Serbia.
A member of the 2006 Patriot League All-Rookie Team, Nusseibeh played 116 career games at American, where she won a pair of league regular season titles as a member of the Eagles’ program. She was a member of the program when it made a pair of WNIT appearances, the first two postseason berths in program history.
Nusseibeh earned her undergraduate degree in international relations/international business from American in 2009 and then went on to earn her MBA from Cincinnati in 2011. She replaces former Canisius head coach Scott Hemer, who stepped down in June.