By Adam Berger
Gina Maher is one of the most decorated coaches in Section 1, and her Irvington Bulldogs are in the midst of an unprecedented run. Winnersof four straight Class B section titles and three consecutive state championships, the veteran coach is now receiving national recognition.
Maher has been named the 2013 Russell Athletic National Women’s Basketball Coaches Association District 2 Coach of the Year. She will also be an assistant at the 2013 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School All-America Game presented by NIKE, an exhibition featuring the country’s 20 best high school seniors. The game will take place on April 6 at New Orleans Arena.
“She’s a great coach,” Irvington senior Brittni Lai said of Maher, who couldn’t be reached for comment. “There’s been previous Irvington basketball teams that have done well even if they didn’t have as much talent as we have right now. She just makes the best of what she has and really sticks to her roots.”
Her resume speaks for itself. At 582 wins Maher is the all-time winningest basketball coach in Section 1, for boys or girls. She has guided her Irvington teams to 11 section championships, including a streak of seven straight from 1984-1990.
The Bulldogs currently have a talented lineup that includes two future Division-1 athletes in the Marist-bound Lai and Lehigh-bound Lexi Martins.
Irvington will play in the Class B regional final against the winner of Cold Spring Harbor and South Hampton at Hofstra Friday at 6 p.m. A win would put the Bulldogs in position to win a fourth straight state title next weekend at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.