The 2013-14 season will be the 10th season for Terry Zeh as head coach after taking over the Canisius College women’s basketball program on April 16, 2004.
The 2009 MAAC Coach of the Year, Zeh enters the season with 139 career victories, ranking first all-time in program history for wins and first among Division I coaches in winning percentage. Zeh became the program’s all-time winningest coach on Jan. 4, 2011, in a win over Saint Peter’s College at the Koessler Athletic Center.
During his nine years as head coach of the Golden Griffins, Zeh’s accomplishments include:
- Canisius became the first women’s basketball program from Western New York to qualify for the NCAA Tournament when the Golden Griffins won the MAAC Championship in 2005, Zeh’s first season as head coach
- Zeh is the only Canisius women’s basketball coach to win 20 games in two seasons at the Division I level
- Zeh has led Canisius to its only two postseason appearances at the Division I level
- Canisius has led the Golden Griffins to three 14-win seasons in MAAC play, one of two teams in the conference to have multiple 14-win MAAC campaigns during the past nine years
- Canisius has had eight freshmen selected to the MAAC All-Rookie Team, the most in the conference during the past eight years
- Canisius has earned two MAAC Rookie of the Year awards (Jamie Ruttle in 2011 and Amanda Cavo in 2006)
- Canisius had four freshmen win MAAC Rookie of the Week honors during 2010-11 — the first time in league history that’s been accomplished
Zeh has led Canisius to the postseason two times (2005 and 2009) during his time as head coach of the Golden Griffins. In his first season as head coach (2004-05), Zeh had a number of first-time accomplishments, highlighted by winning the 2005 MAAC Tournament title to lead the program to the school’s NCAA Tournament game against Duke in Chapel Hill, N.C. By taking to Griffs to the “Big Dance,” Zeh became the first MAAC women’s head coach to guide his team to the postseason in the first year as the program’s head man. It also marked just the second time in program history where a coach in his or her first season won 20-plus games.
During the 2008-09 season, the Golden Griffins had one of the best seasons in program history — winning 24 games and achieving a number of individual and team accomplishments:
- The 24 wins were the most by a Canisius team at the Division I level, the most in 25 seasons and third-most in program history
- Canisius qualified for the WNIT for the first time in program history
- Zeh became the third coach in program history to be named MAAC Coach of the Year
- Brittané Russell became the second player in program history to be named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year
- Ellie Radke became the first player in program history to be named MAAC Sixth Player of the Year
- Marie Warner was named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, one of two MAAC women’s basketball players to earn that honor in the last 15 years
- Canisius improved its win total by 11 games from the 2007-08 season, the fourth-best improvement in the country
- Won a program-record 11 regular-season home games, 11 regular-season road games and had a program-record 11-game road winning streak
Canisius has also seen success academically under Zeh, including:
- Posting a perfect APR score of 1,000 in each of the last three years of available data
- Ranking 10th among Division I women’s basketball programs during the 2010-11 academic year with a team cumulative GPA of 3.441 for the season.
- Earning two NCAA Division I Academic Performance Program public recognition awards (2007-08 and 2006-07). The public recognition awards are presented to the best academically performing teams that rank in the top 10 percent within their sport in the NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR).
Prior to taking over the women’s program at the College, Zeh spent seven seasons as an assistant on the Canisius men's basketball coaching staff. He helped recruit Brian Dux, who was named the 2002 MAAC men’s basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Toby Foster, the 2004 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Both players joined Hodari Mallory as the only class in school history to have three players score 1,000 career points. Zeh was also on the bench during the 2000-01 season, when the men’s program registered a 20-11 record and a trip to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship game.
A 1990 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Zeh joined the Golden Griffins after two successful years as the head men’s coach at Elmira College, a Division III program in the Southern Tier of New York State. Zeh began his coaching career during his undergraduate days in Olean, N.Y. During his junior and senior years at St. Bonaventure, he served as an assistant at Olean High School. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Bonaventure, Zeh made his way to Elmira to serve as an assistant under Kevin Moore from 1990-93. During his three-year stay, the Soaring Eagles posted a 44-36 record and made a pair of ECAC Championship appearances. While at Elmira, Zeh completed his work for a master’s degree in education.
After serving as an assistant at Elmira, he then moved to Rochester, N.Y., in August 1993, and took over as an assistant coach for the men’s team at St. John Fisher College under Bob Ward. The Cardinals went 22-5 in 1994, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
From that point, Zeh moved to metropolitan New York to work as one of Fran Fraschilla’s assistants at Manhattan College. The Jaspers went 26-5 and upset fourth-seeded Oklahoma in the first round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament in Memphis, Tenn.
Zeh parlayed his series of successful seasons into the head coaching position at Elmira, beginning in the fall of 1995. His first squad went 14-13 and made it to the semifinals of the ECAC Tournament, while his second quintet went 15-13 and lost to Nazareth in the championship game in the ECAC Tournament.
Zeh and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Williamsville with their daughter, Anna, and son, Gavin.