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Simon Connor returns to the Villanova sidelines for his seventh season as the top assistant on Michael Corrado's staff and his third as Associate Head Coach for the 2012-2013 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.
Over the past three seasons, Connor has played a significant role in Villanova's .630 winning percentage in addition to helping the Wildcats solidify their position as one of the nation's elite after being ranked well inside the top-20 for all 16 weeks during the regular season in 2012. Additionally, Connor's man-up offense finished the season ranked 2nd in the nation, converting on just over 49% of their opportunities. In 2011, Connor helped guide the Wildcats to their highest ranking in program history at No. 7 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse and USILA polls. During that run, Villanova was ranked well inside the top-20 for 14 weeks during the regular season and earned their first-ever at-large berth to the NCAA postseason tournament. Traveling to the University of Denver in what would be the first NCAA tournament game to be played west of the Mississippi, the Wildcats narrowly fell to the Pioneeres, 13-10, on Denver's home turf.
Connor has also helped several players earn regional and national distinction under his direction. 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), Jack Rice (2012 All-BIG EAST First Team, 2011 All-BIG EAST First Team), Matt Bell (2012 All-BIG EAST First Team), Thomas Croonquist (2012 All-BIG EAST Second 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. 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 Vigilante taking home MVP honors in 2012.
Nationally, Connor has guided four former players into the professional lacrosse ranks in Cunningham, Karalunas, Heidenberger and Mikey Haas. in 2012, Cunningham was chosen as the 19th overall selection in the Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft by the Boston Cannons, and one year prior, Karalunas was the 35th overall pick by the Long Island Lizards. In 2007, Haas was drafted into the National Lacrosse League by the New York Titans while Heidenberger was also a member of the Long Island Lizards.
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.
A 2004 Villanova alumnus, Connor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He currently resides in Conshohocken, Pa.