Head football coach Mark Whipple has announced the addition of Joe Connolly as the Minutemen’s director of sports performance/head football strength and conditioning coach.
A native of Barnstable, Connolly joins the athletics department after seven seasons working with the football program at the University of South Carolina. During his time with the Gamecocks, he coached 30 NFL draft picks, including the 2014 No. 1 selection, and 29 of his former players are currently active on NFL rosters.
“Joe Connolly is a great addition to our staff,” Whipple said. “Joe comes highly recommended by collegiate coaches and NFL coaches that I truly respect. I’m excited for him and our staff to take this program to the next level.”
Prior to his arrival in South Carolina, Connolly served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Louisville. He worked with the Cardinal football program, primarily focusing on the skill position players.
Connolly began his professional career at Harvard as an intern in 2007, assisting with all 41 sports, including the league's championship football team. He was hired as a full-time assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Crimson in 2008 and served as the head strength and conditioning coach for men’s volleyball while continuing to assist with the other programs.
Connolly holds a Master of Science degree in physical education with a concentration in strength and conditioning from Bridgewater State University. He is a 2004 graduate of the University of Hartford, where he earned degrees in criminal justice and sociology. He was a four-year letter winner in baseball and was given the Senior Award for great sportsmanship and perseverance.
Connolly is Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches’ Association (CSCCA) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
Connolly is a current competitor in Olympic weightlifting, drug-free powerlifting, Highland games and strongman competitions. He is joined in Amherst by his wife, Shalona.