Brandon Harris, who coached the Canisius football team the last four seasons, is leaving the program.
Harris met with players this afternoon to notify them of his decision.
Harris e-mailed The Buffalo News with the following statement:
"It is with regret and optimism that I'm resigning from Canisius to pursue other opportunities in coaching. Four years ago I set out to restore Canisius' standing as one of the best programs in Western New York. I'm confident that I achieved this goal.
"As in any profession, success isn't accomplishied on my efforts alone -- the late Fr. Jim Higgins and Paul Koessler were instrumental in bringing me to Canisius and I'll always be forever greatful for the opportunity they afforded me. Also, I absolutely would have not had any success were it not for my Athletic Director, Jim Mauro. During my four years here, I have met some great coaches who embraced me, the "outsider," and I'm proud to call these men friends; Gene Tundo [Orchard Park], John Faller [Sweet Home], Jerry Smith [St. Francis], Pat Murphy [Amherst] and Len Jankiewicz [Lancaster].
"Finally to the players, coaches, parents, alumni and school community: Thank you for supporting my family and I through four wonderful years. Canisius is now a highly sought after position and it is because of the efforts of so many people we not only had a great run but have positioned Canisius for future success. I have nothing but positive things to say about the city of Buffalo and my experience at Canisius."
Harris told The Buffalo News that he does not know yet where his next stop will be; he is choosing from several possibilities.
Canisius athletic director Jim Mauro said that the school would be conducting a search for a replacement as soon as possible.
Before Harris' arrival, the Crusaders had a 21-43 record since 2000 and had gone 1-7 in 2006. In four seasons, Harris' teams went 26-16, won one Monsignor Martin Association League AA championship and lost in the final two other times.
In 2007, the Crusaders went 6-5 and lost to St. Francis in the MMA AA final; in 2008, they went 6-3 and lost to St. Francis in the MMA AA final; in 2009, they went 7-5 and beat St. Joe's in the MMA AA final; in 2010 they went 7-3 and lost to eventual champion St. Joe's in the MMAA AA semifinals.