Lourdes University athletic director Andre Smith has announced that Karen McConnell has been named the Gray Wolves' new head women's basketball coach. McConnell becomes just the second head coach in program history.
"I am thrilled to welcome Karen McConnell to our staff," Smith stated. "She possesses the character, knowledge, skill, and work ethic that this department was searching for."
"I am honored to have the opportunity to become the women's basketball coach at Lourdes University", McConnell said. "I want to thank Coach Smith and the administration for providing me with this opportunity."
McConnell will begin her 21st season of collegiate coaching with the 2013-2014 season, having spent her first 20 years at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. Serving as the head coach from 1998-2008, McConnell has a 280-247 career record, setting the school record for victories with the Student Princes. She ranks fifth all-time in the Ohio Athletic Conference with the 280 victories and was twice named the OAC Coach of the Year.
Heidelberg advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four in 1989-1990 under McConnell's guidance, finishing third in the country that season. The school also won the OAC regular season and tournament titles that same season. McConnell's teams also succeeded in the classroom during her tenure at Heidelberg, earning four WBCA top-25 spots on the academic honor roll.
"Karen is experienced in several different areas in addition to coaching that will strengthen this department and institution," Smith added. "Her 20 years of experience shows a lot of dedication and responsibility to student-athletes."
While at Heidelberg, McConnell also served as the school's senior woman administrator and was an associate athletic director. She also spent time as the intramural director, served as an assistant professor, and also was a track and field coach from 1986-1996.
Since 2008 McConnell has taught in the Wooster City Schools in Wooster, Ohio where she was the varsity girls' basketball coach from 2008-2010.
"I've missed coaching and am really excited to return to the college sidelines," McConnell added.
McConnell earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Heidelberg College in business administration and secondary education in 1985 before earning a Master of Education degree with an emphasis in sports science from Ashland University in 1988.
McConnell will begin her duties at Lourdes on July 1.