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Simon Connor returns to the Villanova sidelines for his 11th season as the top assistant on Michael Corrado's staff and his sixth as Associate Head Coach for the 2015-16 season. Connor was promoted to his current position in June, 2010.
Throughout his duration under Corrado, Connor has helped Villanova reach national recognition as one of the top lacrosse programs in the country. He is heavily involved in all aspects of the program and is directly responsible for the inception and direction of the offense, preparing scouting reports, designing game plans, assisting in player development and acting as the recruiting coordinator.
The 2016 season marked the fifth-straight year Villanova has qualified for the BIG EAST tournament; the most of any current member of the league. Connor has helped lead the team to six conference tournaments over the past seven seasons as a member of both the BIG EAST and CAA conferences and guided Villanova to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearances in 2009 and 2011. Villanova's squads have consistently played the best competition in the nation and the Wildcats strength of schedule has ranked in the top-5 in the NCAA every year dating back to 2009 according to laxpower.com. Additionally, in 2014 Connor was chosen to coach in the prestigious USILA North/South All-Star game alongside head coach Mike Corrado, where the staff led the South squad to a convincing 16-10 victory over the North.
Connor has led several players to individual accolades since being appointed associate head coach. Over the past ten seasons, ten student-athletes have earned USILA All-America honors, eight have been named conference Player of the Years and a total of 44 have been chosen for all-conference laurels.
Connor has also helped several players earn regional and national distinction under his direction. Jack Curran (2014, 2015 All-BIG EAST Second Team, 2016 BIG EAST Co-Midfielder of the Year, 2016 USILA All-American Honorable Mention, 2016 USILA Division I Scholar All-Americans), Jake Froccaro (2016 All-BIG EAST First Team, 2016 USILA All-American Honorable Motion, 2016 Tewaaraton Award Nominees), Devin McNamara (2016 All-BIG EAST Second Team), Joey Froccaro (2016 All-BIG EAST Second Team), John LoCascio (2014 USILA First Team All-American, 2014 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, 2014 All-BIG EAST First Team, 2013 USILA Third Team All-American, 2013 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, 2013 First Team All-BIG EAST, 2012 Second Team All-BIG EAST), Jack Curran (2014 and 2015 Second Team All-BIG EAST), Sean Cerrone (2015 Second Team All-BIG EAST), Jack Rice (2013 USILA Honorable Mention All-American, 2013 Second Team All-BIG EAST, 2012 First Team All-BIG EAST, 2011 First Team All-BIG EAST), Thomas Croonquist (2013 First Team All-BIG EAST, 2012 Second Team All-BIG EAST), Chris Conroy (2014 First Team All-BIG EAST, 2013 First Team All-BIG EAST), John Kluh (2013 First Team All-BIG EAST), Max Hart (2013 Second Team All-BIG EAST), Kevin Cunningham (2012 USILA Honorable Mention All-American, 2012 BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year, 2012 First Team All-BIG EAST, 2012 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, 2011 All-BIG EAST First Team, 2010 All-BIG EAST Second Team), Matt Bell (2012 All-BIG EAST First Team), Michael Vigilante (2012 All-BIG EAST Second Team), Paul Webber (2010 USILA Honorable Mention All-American, BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, First Team All-BIG EAST) and Mark Scioscia (2010 All-BIG EAST Second Team) have all earned national recognition under Connor's tutelage.
Prior to Villanova joining the BIG EAST Conference, Connor developed three All-CAA selections in Eric Heidenberger, Chris MacDonald and Timmy Driscoll and two All-CAA Rookie Team honorees in C.J. Small and Kevin Cunningham. Remington Pope, Jack Rice, Max Hart, Michael Vigilante, Chris Ficke, Brian Karalunas, Andy German, Matt Fritts and Chris MacDonald were also selected to play in the prestigious USILA Division I North/South Senior All-Star game in recent years under Connor's teaching, with Rice taking home MVP honors in 2013 and Vigilante earning the same distinction in 2012.
Nationally, Connor has guided eight former players into the professional lacrosse ranks in Remington Pope, John LoCascio, Kevin O'Neil, Nick Doherty, Kevin Cunningham, Brian Karalunas, Eric Heidenberger and Mikey Haas. LoCascio, Rice, Karalunas and Cunningham were all chosen to the 2014 FIL Team USA Tryout Pool prior to the World Championships in Denver, Colo.
Connor, a midfielder for the Wildcats in 2001-02, battled injuries throughout his time as a student-athlete before compartment syndrome sidelined his playing career at the end of his sophomore season. He began his coaching career as the head assistant and offensive coordinator at Harriton High School in Rosemont, Pa. before becoming the offensive coordinator at Whittier College in California. In his one year at Whittier, the Poets finished with an 8-7 record.