Yea i agree its not always best to get star players as coaches, not all work, but some do.
As for coaches in other leagues/sports with little previous coaching experience, off the top of my head AFL - Hird, Voss, even Barassi started coaching as a player/coach so didnt have any coaching experience either, NBA - Mark Jackson,
Not always ideal, but it can work, it just wont always work, just like hiring a guy with several years of AIS/lower level coaching can work and turn out to be great coaches ala Geordie McLeod, but wont always ie Clark and Radford.
Its a risk either way imo, just try and get the best person for the job, 1st criteria for me is passion for the game/club, which you could definatly say someone like Maher has, if he has interest in coaching id like them to get him involved whether its head coach or assistant, and why not give him the head coaching role for the rest of the season, what we got to lose. As for tarnishing his legacy, his playing career will always be amazing, and will always be a great club man, no matter how good a coach he is. Is Jordan seen as a worse player due to his stint at the Wizards or his President/GM roles? I dont think so, most still regard him as the greatest of all time, for his career at the Bulls. Same would be for Maher we would still love him, either way, and he couldnt really be worse than Clarke so what we got to lose?