Associate head coach Joe Conner enters his 10th season on the Bucknell men's lacrosse staff in 2019. Conner, who joined the staff in 2009, is in his eighth year in the first assistant position and his third as associate head coach. He also serves as offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
The Bison won their first ever Patriot League Tournament Championship in 2011, Conner's second season with the program. The Bison were ranked sixth in the country during the 2013 campaign, the highest national ranking at any point in their history.
In Conner’s first season as the offensive coordinator in 2012, the Bison finished the season with the top shooting percentage in the nation. They also set school records in goals (179), assists (108) and points (287). Inside Lacrosse’s Pace Statistics for Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Rating determined that Bucknell had one of the most efficient offensive units in recent Division 1 lacrosse history throughout most of the 2012 season.
In 2013, Conner’s recruiting efforts were displayed by the play of several key freshmen during the season. The recruiting class was cited by Inside Lacrosse as one of the best in the nation, and the Bison had three freshmen make Inside Lacrosse’s list top 25 freshmen, which was more than any other team in the nation.
That season, Conner also coached Patriot League Rookie of the Year Sean Doyle and First Team All-Patriot League midfielders Thomas Flibotte and David Dickson. Dickson shattered Bucknell and Patriot League single-season assist records with 48, and he would go on to earn Third Team All-America honors.
In 2014, Conner’s recruiting efforts were displayed when Bucknell cracked Inside Lacrosse's top 20 in recruiting classes. This class was ranked 13th nationally and had three recruits ranked in Inside Lacrosse’s Power 100 Recruit Rankings, the most Bucknell ever had in a recruiting class.
In 2016, Conner oversaw an offense that averaged better than 11 goals per game, as the Bison finished 10-5. Bucknell ranked second in the Patriot League and 20th nationally in goals per game, led by a 60-point scorer in sophomore attackman Will Sands.
In 2018, Conner's offense averaged 11.87 goals per game, bolstered by the efforts of Sands (20g-55a), Sean O'Brien (42g-5a) and Connor O'Hara (37g-8a). Sands, a Third-Team All-American, broke Dickson's school record in assists and also became the fourth Bison to notch at least 70 points in a single campaign. O'Brien netted the fifth-most goals in school history while O'Hara finished one tally shy of joining O'Brien in Bucknell's single-season top 10. All three were later selected in the 2018 Major League Lacrosse Draft.
Conner was the assistant lacrosse coach at Mount St. Mary’s for two years before coming to Bucknell. At Mount St. Mary’s, Conner helped coach the Mount to a 5-3 conference record and a No. 2 seed in the MAAC playoffs, the Mount’s first conference playoff appearance in two years. He also served as recruiting coordinator, and, in his final season, coached the defense, helping them achieve a No. 9 national ranking in goals allowed.
Conner is a 2007 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s and received his M.B.A. degree with a management concentration from his alma mater in 2009. During the summer of 2009, Conner worked at Wells Fargo Financial as a Credit Manager before being hired by Bucknell in September of 2009. As a student-athlete, he played at Binghamton University for three years before transferring to Mount St. Mary’s to finish his playing career and pursue his coaching career. He was a midfielder at Binghamton and transitioned to attack when he transferred to Mount St. Mary’s.
A native of Ijamsville, Md., he played both lacrosse and football at Urbana High School. He was a high school All-American in lacrosse and started at quarterback on a record-setting football team that won four-straight state championships and carried a 50-game winning streak. He currently holds Frederick County's single-season touchdown passes record with 28.
Joe lives in Mifflinburg, Pa. with his wife Erin, two son’s Ethan and Jace, and daughter Gia.