Joe Conner is the associate head men’s lacrosse coach entering his ninth season on the Bucknell staff in 2017-18, after joining the staff in 2009. He is in his seventh year in the first assistant position, and his second as associate head coach. Conner also serves as offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. His first two years he was the second assistant before being promoted in the summer of 2011.
The Bison won their first ever Patriot League Tournament Championship in 2011, Conner's second season with the program. The program achieved the highest ever final national ranking in program history at seventh in 2011. The program was ranked sixth in the country at midpoint in 2013, the highest national ranking at any point in program history. Conner’s overall record on staff is 74-47 through 8 seasons.
In Conner’s first season as the offensive coordinator in 2012, the Bison finished the season with the top shooting percentage in the nation. The Bison offense also performed at historically high levels during the 2012 season. In that season the Bison offense set a record by scoring the most goals it ever has in a single season with 179, as well as set team records for assists (108) and points (287). Inside Lacrosse’s Pace Statistics for Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Rating determined that the Bison 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.
In 2013, Conner 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 by Bucknell’s first-ever top-20 recruiting class according to Inside Lacrosse magazine. This class was ranked 13th in the country as a whole, and had three recruits ranked in Inside Lacrosse’s Power 100 Recruit Rankings; which is the most Bucknell has 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.
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 served as recruiting coordinator, and in his final season with The Mount he coached the defense, helping them to 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 The Mount as well in May of 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 then was moved 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 the Frederick County Maryland high school touchdown pass record with 28 in a single season.
Joe lives in Mifflinburg, Pa. with his wife Erin, two son’s Ethan and Jace, and daughter Gia.