Cary McConnell was named Suffolk’s third Director of Athletics in October 2014. McConnell, a former head baseball coach for the Rams, joins Charles Law (1946-1975) and James E. Nelson (1975-2013) as the only other people to hold the title in the University’s Athletic Department 70-year history.
McConnell oversee’s Suffolk’s 19-sport, NCAA Division III Athletic Department, which competes in the highly-competitive Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) and Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). In addition, McConnell oversees Suffolk’s Campus Recreation, which offers a variety of club and intramural sport teams, as well as a wealth of physical education opportunities for the Suffolk student community.
Prior to his appointment, McConnell served as interim director since Nelson’s retirement in August 2013. During his time under interim status, McConnell participated in an internal review of the department that result in a number of important recommendations for strengthening the athletics program and he has initiated the first steps toward achieving these goals.
Since McConnell took over the reins of the athletic department improvements have already begun. In 2015, the Rams secured home field advantage for its outdoor varsity sports - baseball, men’s and women’s soccer and softball - with a 10-year partnership with East Boston. A year later six new varsity sports were added to Suffolk’s lineup in men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s golf and women’s ice hockey and state of the art work out facilities in the revamped Varsity Weight Room and the Michael S. Smith and Larry E. Smith Fitness Center opened in August 2015.
McConnell joined the University in 1996 as Associate Director of Athletics and Head Baseball Coach. Prior to assuming his role at Suffolk, he had been the Head Baseball Coach at the University of Rochester.
At the helm of the Suffolk program, McConnell won 479 contests (.635 winning percentage), recording at least 20-wins in a year for 17 consecutive seasons. He has guided Suffolk to four NCAA Championship Tournament appearances, along with four GNAC titles. Under McConnell Suffolk appeared in the GNCA’s Conference Championship game for eight consecutive seasons. The five-time GNAC Coach of the Year took the Rams to 10 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournaments, including crowns in 2000 and 2014.
In 2013, McConell received the Jack Butterfield Award by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA). The award is given to an active New England coach who demonstrated integrity and dedication to the game of college baseball.
Across 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach McConnell amassed 534 career victories.
In May 2013, McConnell was inducted into the Suffolk University Hall of Fame along his 2000 Baseball team. That team set a school record with 38 wins in a season, while his pitching staff led all NCAA Division III baseball in earned run average (2.69) and strikeouts (401). The Rams made their first NCAA appearance, while winning both the GNAC and ECAC Championships. Suffolk was also inducted into the GNAC’s inaugural Hall of Fame Class in 2010.
McConnell is also an enshrined member of the MEdina County Hall of Fame (2007) and the Brunswick High School of Hall of Fame (1994) in his native Ohio.
A graduate of the College of Wooster, McConnell was a four-year starter in the infield for the Scots and was selected to the All-Decade Team for the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) for the 80’s. At Wooster, McConnell played in four straight NCAA Tournaments and one World Series finishing fifth. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and earned certification to teach at the Secondary level. In addition, he holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Rochester.
McConnell resides in Reading, Massachusetts, along with his wife Kathy. They have two children, Charlie and Annie. Charlie is currently in his sophomore season on the diamond with the Huskies of Northeastern.