GENESEO, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Mike Mooney named Margaret McConnell head field hockey coach, Monday. McConnell joins the Knights after serving as the top assistant at the University of Rochester for the last two seasons.
McConnell was tabbed the sixth head coach in the 21-year history of the program after Jessica Seren was recently elevated to Interim Assistant Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation at Geneseo.
"It quickly became apparent during our search that Margaret was not only ready to be a head coach, but has all the tools necessary to continue the winning culture of our field hockey program," said Mooney. "Her experiences coaching and playing the game at a high level, along with the type of person she is, make her the exact type of leader we were looking for to mentor our program for years to come."
Part of the winningest two-year stretch in Rochester history, McConnell helped guide the Yellowjackets to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a program record-tying 18-4 mark and the first Liberty League Championships in team history last fall. Rochester finished the regular season with a spotless 7-0 league mark before defeating perennial powers William Smith and Skidmore to claim the conference's automatic NCAA Tournament berth. The squad followed up a first round bye with a 2-1 victory over visiting Husson (Maine), before falling to eventual national champion Middlebury (Vt.) in the Elite 8. For their efforts, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) named McConnell and the Rochester coaching staff, under head coach Wendy Andreatta, the Atlantic Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
In 2016, McConnell and the Yellowjackets finished with an 18-5 record, including a runner-up finish in the Liberty League Championship that yielded an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Rochester defeated visiting Shenandoah (W.Va.), 2-0, before coming up short to Middlebury in the regional semifinals.
"I am excited to become the next field hockey coach at SUNY Geneseo and I would like to thank Mike Mooney and his search committee for this incredible opportunity," said McConnell. "The combination of a public liberal arts education, a strong athletic community and a vibrant campus life makes Geneseo such a special place. I cannot wait to get started and I look forward to working with the student-athletes, faculty, and staff."
McConnell has served as the head coach for the Finger Lakes Field Hockey Club for the last two years, overseeing the U16 and U19 indoor and outdoor travel teams that competed regionally and nationally. She has also worked for USA Field Hockey for the last four years, including as a head coach during the U14 National Futures Championship this past spring.
McConnell previously worked as a sport performance consultant and exercise behavior coach at Ithaca while pursuing a master's degree in sport psychology. Also volunteering as an assistant coach for the Bombers field hockey team, she worked at Cornell as an athletic student services intern prior to completing her degree in 2016.
McConnell enjoyed a standout playing career at William Smith, totaling 24 goals and 11 assists (59 points) in 79 career matches, including three NCAA Tournament appearances. Her senior campaign culminated with First-Team All-America honors after being tabbed the Liberty League and ECAC Mid-Atlantic Defensive Player of the Year. A two-time Liberty League All-Star, McConnell was also a three-time NFHCA Academic Squad and Liberty League All-Academic Team honoree before graduating with a degree in psychology and women's studies in 2014.
A native of Louisville, Ky., McConnell currently resides in nearby Victor, N.Y.