Wednesday, February 19, 2014 – Brentwood, TN - It was a proud moment on Wednesday, February 19, when Brentwood High School student Jack Maher, son of John and Margie Maher of Brentwood, signed with Duke University accepting a scholarship to be part of the school’s track and field program. Family, friends, coaches, fellow athletes and members of the community were there to show support.
Maher, a national champion and All-American shot putter, has shown dedication to excellence in sports from an early age.
“I have known Jack since he was only four or five years old. He has competed in several sports and done every sport well. In fact, he has commanded every sport he has participated in,” said Coach Gary Kinder, Maher’s throwing coach and also a 1988 Olympic athlete. “I was so happy when he decided to become a ‘track guy’ his sophomore year. I felt really lucky to be working with him as a national-caliber athlete.”
Maher competed during track season his sophomore year at Brentwood High School and went on to compete in the Tennessee State Meet. His success at the state level led him to be invited to compete at two national meets; the New Balance Outdoor Nationals held in Greensboro, NC in June of 2012 and the AAU Club Nationals held in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex the following month. Maher was named an All-American at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals having placed fifth with a throw of 55’ 11.75.” Maher placed first at the AAU Club Nationals after a personal best throw of 58’ 3.5,” which was almost two feet further than any other shot putter in the State of Tennessee for the calendar year according to data reported by Mile Split.
In October of 2012, Maher suffered a severe shoulder injury during a high school football game. The injury required surgery and Maher was unable to participate in any sports for nearly a year. He has been training all winter and hopes to regain his form this spring.
“What’s not to say about Jack; he’s a coach’s dream,” said Kinder. “He is attentive and absolutely coachable. He is also very kind and nice to everyone and very intelligent. He has a great human structure to work with as far as athletic ability. Of the most special kids; he’s special. He really could have chosen to go to college anywhere and had several offers to consider. Duke just won a big prize with Jack’s decision to go there.”
Maher is continuing a family tradition with his decision to attend Duke University; a tradition that is now three-siblings in the making as two of Maher’s sisters, Beth and Jennifer, also attended Duke. Beth was also a track and field athlete and set indoor and outdoor shot put records as well as a javelin record during her time at Duke.
“Jack comes from the highly successful Maher lineage,” said Coach Ronnie Seigenthaler, Brentwood High School Athletic Director and also head Track and Field Coach for the school. “I have been blessed to coach all of his siblings and they - like Jack - are all incredibly talented. Jack has a wonderful work ethic and I have enjoyed coaching him. I am so proud of his success and I know he will do well at Duke.”