OSWEGO, N.Y. – The Oswego State Athletic Department is pleased to announce that J.J. O’Connell, previous head women’s volleyball coach at the Stevens Institute of Technology, has been selected to become the first full-time head coach of the Oswego State volleyball program. Over the course of the last ten seasons at Stevens, O’Connell elevated the Ducks to the elite level in Division III after qualifying for seven straight NCAA Tournaments.
O’Connell inherited a program that won just three matches in 2001 before earning its first-ever berth in the Skyline Conference Tournament in 2003, and rattling off six straight conference championships from 2004-09. In the process, Stevens captured the New York Regional Championship and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in both 2006 and 2007, as the Ducks ended both years ranked in the Top-25 in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll.
O’Connell’s players earned many postseason accolades during his tenure. In five of the past seven years, Stevens’ players have been named conference player of the year. On top of the conference honors, over the past five seasons, six players have earned a total of 11 AVCA All-America honors.
In ten seasons at the helm of the Stevens program, O’Connell accumulated a combined record of 272-92 with a .747 career winning percentage. His winning percentage ranks him in the top 10 of all active coaches in NCAA Division III Volleyball with at least five seasons of experience.
Prior to Stevens, O’Connell served an undergraduate assistant women’s volleyball coach at Cortland before serving as an assistant coach at Ferris State and a graduate assistant coach at the State University of New York at Brockport.
O’Connell, who owned a 245-76 mark as an assistant coach, helped lead Cortland to a pair of fifth-place national finishes in the NCAA Division III Championship before helping Ferris State to a NCAA Division II Championship berth and Brockport to a pair of runner-up finishes in the 2000 and 2001 SUNYAC tournaments.
Born and raised in Ithaca, N.Y., O’Connell developed into an outstanding middle hitter at Ithaca High School. A two-year captain for the Little Red program, his senior squad earned a New York sectional championship.
After high school, O’Connell attended the State University of New York at Cortland where he played outside hitter on the Red Dragons’ club men’s volleyball team while earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Management Science in 1994.
O’Connell is currently a poll voter for the AVCA Division III Women’s Volleyball Coaches Poll and is the owner and operator of the D3VB website.
He previously completed a term as the chair of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball National Committee in 2008 after serving on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for the New York Region from 2004-08. He has also served on the AVCA Division III Head Coaches Committee, the AVCA All-Region Committee, and remains an active official for USA Volleyball.