LAKELAND – Florida Southern College announced today the hiring of a new head coach to take the helm of the College’s NCAA Division II championship men’s basketball team. Michael Donnelly, head coach of NCAA Division II Southern Connecticut State University, was chosen from an applicant pool over more than 300 candidates to be the Mocs’ new head coach.
“We were looking for a coach who would continue to build on the Mocs’ growing success and who could guide the team’s development not only as athletes, but as scholar-athletes,” remarked Florida Southern College President Anne Kerr. “Coach Donnelly has a great track record on the court and proven success in building a team of well-rounded student-athletes that I am confident will prove a great fit for Florida Southern.”
A graduate of Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Conn., Donnelly carries an impressive list of accolades. He currently holds the Southern Connecticut’s coaching all-time highest winning percentage (.664) and, during his tenure, led the team to its first-ever Northeast-10 Conference regular season title, first-ever Northeast-10 Tournament title, and a spot in the Elite Eight for the second time in the program’s history.
“Words cannot express how excited I am for this great opportunity to be part of such a wonderful institution as Florida Southern,” said Coach Donnelly. “It’s a top-notch basketball program, certainly one of the best—if not the best—in Division II right now, and my family and I are so excited to become part of the Florida Southern community.”
“I admire the work Coach Donnelly has done in his five years at Southern Connecticut,” said Bob Adams, Florida Southern College Trustee and chair of the search committee. “His success in that program illustrates that he has the talent and the drive to build and maintain an elite program.”
Coach Donnelly will be introduced to the Florida Southern community and members of the 6 Man Club—FSC’s men’s basketball booster group—at a press conference and reception on Wednesday, May 6, at 5:00 pm at the George Jenkins Field House.
Donnelly has been coaching NCAA Division II men’s basketball since 2003, when he was named head coach at Post University, Waterbury, Conn. At Post, he set the record for most coaching wins in school history, including three Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Regular Season Titles. In 2010, he joined Southern Connecticut State University, where he took the Owls from two consecutive 2-25 seasons before his arrival to two consecutive post-season appearances in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. He led the Owls to two Northeast-10 Regular Season Southwest Conference Championships (2014 and 2015) and was named Northeast-10 Coach of the Year, NABC DII East Region Coach of the Year, and an NABC DII National Coach of the Year Finalist in 2013-2014.
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