Smithfield, RI -- Bryant University head women's basketball coach Mary Burke is pleased to announce the addition of former standout Mary McConnell ('04) to her coaching staff for the 2012-13 season. The announcement was made Thursday by Burke and Director of Athletics Bill Smith.
Mary McConnell, a native of Pawtucket and graduate of Saint Raphael Academy, returns to her alma mater for her first season on the Bryant bench in 2012-13, where she joins Mary Burke's staff as an assistant coach.
McConnell journeys back to Smithfield following coaching stints at Rhode Island College, Fordham, Fairleigh Dickinson and, most recently, LIU Brooklyn.
One of Bryant's all-time greats, McConnell played 116 games for the Bulldogs from 2000-04 and was a driving force behind one of the most successful teams of the Burke era. As a senior in 2003-04, she averaged 10.7 points per game and led the Black and Gold to a 22-9 overall record, including a run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II tournament.
To get there, McConnell starred in a first-round upset over rival Bentley College, scoring 17 points and connecting on a season-high five 3-point field goals. She followed the outing with an impressive 11-rebound performance in a regional semifinal victory over Stonehill College.
With 1,182 career points, McConnell ranks 11th all-time in the program record books and owns the second-best single-game free throw percentage with a .909 mark set in both 2002 and 2003. She concluded her career shooting .709 (249-351) from the free throw line and earned Third Team All-Northeast-10 Conference honors as a senior.
"Everyone affiliated with the Bryant women's basketball program is thrilled with the addition of Mary to our coaching staff," said Burke, who begins her 22nd year coaching the Bulldogs in 2012-13, a year that also marks the school's first official Division I season.
"I have known Mary for a long time -- from her high school playing days to her outstanding career at Bryant as a player to her time spent as a college coach -- and there is no question she is going to make our team better. She is a tremendous competitor with an unmatched work ethic when it comes to all aspects of coaching."
Prior to arriving at LIU Brooklyn, where she spent last season on the Blackbirds coaching staff, McConnell was an assistant at Fordham University in 2010-11, working primarily with the Rams' guards while also assisting in the team's recruiting, scheduling and scouting, as well as overseeing the team's NCAA compliance.
For three seasons before arriving at Fordham, she handled similar duties at fellow Northeast Conference school Fairleigh Dickinson, along with handling all FDU women's basketball summer camps and operational budgets.
Upon graduating from Bryant in 2004 with a degree in business management, McConnell joined the women's basketball coaching staff at nearby Rhode Island College before serving as a graduate assistant coach at Providence College from 2005-07. She received her Master of Education in Counseling from Providence in 2007.