National High School Coaches Association

Jeff Connors Bio

Strength and Conditioning Coach
University of North Carolina

Jeff Connors is in his sixth year as Carolina’s Strength and Conditioning Coordinator and his fifth as an assistant athletic director. While his primary focus is the football team’s strength and conditioning, Connors oversees the department’s entire strength and conditioning program and also works specifically with the women’s basketball team.

In 2003, Connors was honored as a Master Strength & Conditioning Coach by the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches association (CSCCa). The Master Strength & Conditioning Coach certification is the highest honor that can be achieved as a strength and conditioning coach, representing professionalism, knowledge, experience, expertise and longevity in the field. Connors’ conditioning program was one of the reasons for Carolina’s late-season surge in 2004 as the Tar Heels won three of the last four regular-season contests and earned a berth in the Continental Tire Bowl.

Connors came to Carolina after spending 10 seasons as East Carolina’s Director of Strength & Conditioning. Under Connors, the Pirates were one of the best fourth-quarter teams in the country. In 1996, the ECU defense did not allow a point in the fourth quarter until the seventh game of the season and in 1999, the Pirates outscored their opponents, 102-56, in the final period. In 2000, ECU had a 94-57 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Connors’ was the head strength and conditioning coach at Bucknell prior to his experience at East Carolina. Several of Connors’ former assistants are now head strength and conditioning coaches at other universities, including: John Williams, Director of Strength & Conditioning at Baylor; Tom Howley, Director of Strength & Conditioning at Cornell; Jay Butler, Director of Strength & Conditioning at Rutgers; Jennifer Jones, Head Coach of Strength & Conditioning for Women’s Sports at Texas A&M; Sonny Sano, Director of Strength & Conditioning at Ohio; Toby Jacobi, Strength & Conditioning Coach at Western Carolina; Josh Bush, Head Strength Coach, Morgan State.

Connors was the featured speaker at the 1995 National Strength and Conditioning Association Conference in Phoenix, the 1996 NSCA Conference in Atlanta and the 2003 NSCA Conference. In 1996, he was the Regional Director of the Year and was nominated for National Strength Coach of the Year in 1991.

Connors is a competitive powerlifter and has won four state titles in powerlifting and has been ranked as high as fourth nationally. He holds Level I certification in Olympic Weight Lifting by the U.S. Weight Lifting Federation.

A 1980 graduate of Salem (WV) College, Connors was a four-year starter at cornerback and was team captain as a senior. He led Salem in interceptions as a sophomore and junior. After college, Connors served as a police officer in South Florida for two years. Prior to becoming a strength coach, Connors coached high school football and wrestling at The Benjamin School in North Palm Beach, Florida, and he later coached linebackers at the Tennessee Military Institute in Sweetwater, Tennessee.

Connors and his wife, Michele, have a daughter, Kaitlin and a son, Beau.