The 2014 season marks Mel Mahler's 10th season as head coach of St. Bonaventure University.
The 2012 season followed much of the same course as that of 2011. There were high's and low's as the Bonnies went 5-14 and came up short in their attempt at an Atlantic 10 postseason bid for the second straight season. In games in which they won, the Bonnies outscored their opponents 13-3. Three of their five wins came in shutouts, with all three of those victories coming at home.
After a strong 2010 campaign, the Bonnies posted a 4-12-3 record in 2011. Three of their four wins came in tournament games in September. They won both of their games at the James Madison Tournament in Harrisonburg, V.A., by 1-0 and 2-0 decisions. They then won their second game at the Flash Gordon Motors Invitational hosted by High Point University. The Brown and White won their fourth and final game of the season two games later at Cleveland State on Sept. 21. Despite their 4-12-3 record, the Bonnies went 4-3-1 in September.
In 2010, the Brown and White made
their second consecutive appearance in the Atlantic 10 tournament,
and Mahler helped lead four Bonnies onto All-Conference teams.
Additionally, senior David DiNardo earned First Team
All-Mid-Atlantic honors. The Bonnies completed the season with a
10-8-1 mark and a fourth-place A-10 showing after being selected to
finish 11th in the preseason poll. The 10 wins signifies the
program's second consecutive year of double-digit wins, the first
time it has achieved that since a three-year run from 1997-99. The
Bonnies were ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of
America Mid-Atlantic poll for the final five weeks of the 2010
season, including finishing with a No. 3 ranking in the final poll.
The season ended with a 2-1 loss in the quarterfinals to defending
A-10 champion Saint Louis.
In 2009 the club went 10-9 overall, 5-4 in conference. Three players made All-Conference teams including Offensive Player of the Year Sam Maheu who, along with Tyler Bellamy, also earned All-Mid-Atlantic honors. Coming off a successful senior season Bellamy was drafted by the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer League and was named this year’s Rhinos Rookie of the Year. The Bonnies earned their first ever post-season win against Fordham in the quarterfinals, before falling to Dayton in the semifinals, 3-1.
The 2009 season also symbolized the first time in school history that the Bonnies made two consecutive A-10 tournament appearances, as in 2009 they got their first ever postseason victory against Fordham in the opening round. The team advanced to A-10 semifinals, coming up short against Dayton.
In 2008, the Bonnies went .500 with an overall record of
6-6-5 and going 4-4-1 in conference play. The Brown and White would
win four of their remaining six games that season in their attempts
for a playoff push coming up just shy.
Mahler continued the program's positive progression during the 2007 campaign. Following the leadership of their coach, the Bonnies doubled their win total of a season ago with six victories. The Brown and White's six triumphs were the schools most since 2004. St. Bonaventure concluded the season with a 6-7-3 (3-4-2) mark with postseason aspirations heading into the final weekend of regular season action. Following a slow start to the season, the Bonnies regrouped nicely down the stretch by picking up points in seven of the final 11 matches highlighted by a 3-2 victory over A-10 Championship finalist Charlotte.
Thanks to tactical adjustments and the influx of young talent in the back, Mahler directed one of the A-10's best defensive units. St. Bonaventure conceded the league's second fewest goals with 15 and ranked third in the conference with a 0.88 goals against average mark. Then freshman keeper David Flynn played a vital role in the backline's resurgence as the rookie goalie logged every minute in net en route to A-10 All-Rookie honors. Flynn became the second straight Bonnie to garner All-Rookie mention. In his second season as the leader of the Brown and White, Mahler directed his club to a 3-4-2 mark in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The team finished the 2006 season with consecutive wins over league foes Temple and Saint Joseph's and went into the final weekend of play with a chance to qualify for the A-10 tournament. Furthermore, the Bonnies picked up points in four of their final six contests to place eighth in the conference.
Under the guidance of Mahler, the improvement in the Bonnies was evident throughout the 2006 campaign. The team improved in nearly every statistical category and moved up two spots in the A-10 standings. Six of the squad's 12 losses were by only one goal, including a double-overtime defeat to nationally ranked Akron, and the side never suffered a defeat by more than two scores. In addition, three members of the team earned All-Conference honors following the season. Senior forward Kevin Omokhua was named to the All-Conference first team, freshman forward Samuel Maheu was selected to the All-Rookie team and senior midfielder Phil Amahazion was named to the Academic All-Conference team. Mahler signed another highly-touted recruiting class to join what was already a talented group of returning players for 2007. The mix of experience and exciting new flair would prove to be the right ingredients for the up-and-coming Bonnies in the coming seasons.
Before coming to St. Bonaventure in the summer of 2005, Mahler enjoyed a highly successful career at Bowling Green. He served as interim head coach there in 1993 and head coach from 1995-2003. Mahler led the Falcons to three NCAA Tournament appearances (1995-96-97), three regular season Mid-American Conference championships (1996, 2000, 2002) and three MAC tournament titles (1995-96-97). Mahler's career record at Bowling Green was 111-76-13 (.586). He was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Regional Coach of the Year in 1996, the MAC Coach of the Year in 1996 and 2002 and the Ohio Collegiate Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1997.
Prior to becoming head coach, Mahler was an assistant coach at Bowling Green from 1987-92 and in 1994. From 1984-87, Mahler was head soccer and lacrosse coach at Pfeiffer (N.C.) University. He was a graduate assistant soccer coach at the University of Akron from 1981-84 and assistant soccer coach at High Point University from 1978-81. A native of Smithtown, N.Y., Mahler earned a bachelor's degree in physical education and health from High Point in 1978 and a master's degree in physical education from Akron in 1984.
In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Mahler has been active as a member of the NSCAA. He has served as a regional chair of the NSCAA/Adidas All-America committee and a member of the NSCAA Great Lakes regional ranking committee. Mahler also has been a site administrator for the U.S. Soccer Federation National Coaching School and a director for the U.S. Youth Soccer Association's Olympic development camps.