From University release:
ANN ARBOR, Mich.– University of Michigan Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics Warde Manuel announced today (Wednesday, June 21) the appointment of Kevin Conry as the second head coach in men’s lacrosse program history. Conry arrives in Ann Arbor after spending the last five seasons at the University of Maryland as defensive coordinator and the last two as associate head coach.
“I am excited to welcome Kevin Conry to the University of Michigan,” said Manuel. “Kevin has a diverse background in the Big Ten landscape, which will be a huge asset as we continue to build on the success of our program.”
“My wife, daughters, and I could not be more excited to join the Michigan Athletics family, and Ann Arbor community,” said Conry of the appointment. “The University of Michigan represents a standard of excellence that I look forward to upholding. I would like to thank sport administrator Bitsy Ritt, and athletic director Warde Manuel for their commitment to the sport of lacrosse, and this amazing opportunity to be a head coach in the best lacrosse conference in the country.”
Conry, who was named head coach John Tillman’s top lieutenant prior to the 2016 campaign, was part of one of the most successful eras of Maryland men’s lacrosse, including the Terrapins’ 2017 national championship. In five seasons, he helped lead the Terps to four NCAA Final Fours and five Big Ten Conference titles.
In 2017, Conry’s defensive unit earned a long list of accolades, including the Schmeisser Award, which was presented to Tim Muller for being the nation’s top defenseman. Isaiah Davis-Allen earned first team USILA All-America honors for the second straight year, becoming the first Maryland defender to achieve the feat 1975-76.
The 2016 Maryland defense featured a bevy of experience developed under his guidance including five USILA All-Americans. The Terrapins won a school-record 17 games en route to their third consecutive NCAA Final Four appearance. Conry’s defense ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense (8.35 goals/g) and third in man-down defense (73%).
Conry’s defensive unit led the nation in scoring defense in 2015, allowing just 7.1 goals-per-game en route to Maryland’s second straight NCAA Final Four appearance. Kyle Bernlohr received the Kelly Award as the nation’s top goalkeeper, making the Terps the first team to win the award in back-to-back seasons with different goalkeepers since 1961-62 (Niko Amato, 2014).
In 2014, Maryland ranked third in the nation allowing just 7.24 goals per game as goalkeeper Niko Amato and defender Goran Murray captured first team USILA All-America honors. The stout defense helped the Terps advance to their third NCAA Final Four in four seasons, while Amato received the Kelly Award for the nation’s top goalkeeper.
In his first season in College Park, Conry oversaw a defensive unit that ranked first in the ACC in points allowed and ninth nationally while playing one of the toughest schedules in the country. Under his tutelage, five Terrapin defenders earned All-America honors in 2013, led by senior Jesse Bernhardt, who became the first Terp since 2006 to garner a first-team selection.
Conry made the transition to College Park after a successful four-year stint at Fairfield, where he was the Stags’ associate head coach for two seasons. He was responsible for turning around a defensive unit that ranked 39th in the nation prior to his arrival into a unit that ranked among the top 16 in the country in each of the past three seasons.
In addition to the six-on-six defensive improvements, Conry also helped the Stags improve in man-down defense, with Fairfield ranking among the top 17 in the nation since 2010. He was also a big factor in Fairfield’s recruiting efforts, including the Stags’ 2013 freshman class, which was ranked as the No. 12 incoming class in the country, according to Inside Lacrosse.
Prior to joining the Fairfield coaching staff, Conry spent the 2007 season at Penn State, where he helped recruit the 2008 Nittany Lions’ freshman class, which Inside Lacrosse ranked the fifth-best class in the nation. Penn State finished the 2007 season with the No. 13 defense in the country, allowing just 7.92 goals per game. He started his coaching career at Siena, where he served as an assistant from 2004-06.
A 2004 graduate of Johns Hopkins, Conry was a four-year member of the Blue Jays lacrosse team, helping the squad to a runner-up finish in the 2003 NCAA Division I Championship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Johns Hopkins and went on to earn a Master of Science in Education from the University of Albany in 2006.
A native of Rockville Centre, New York, he is married to the former Elizabeth Hannan. The couple has two daughters Isabelle (4), Lily (2), and are expecting a third in the coming days.
A couple thoughts:
- Conry most likely retains his incumbent offensive coordinator, Conor Ford, a teammate/classmate at Hopkins. Given that offense has been the lesser of the problems with the team the past couple years, that’s fine.
- Defense has been the Wolverines’ main issue for the past few years (while I thought firing John Paul was premature, his loyalty to Ken Broschart – whom I respect, but who didn’t get results – might have made it necessary), so hiring a defensive-minded headman is a step in the right direction.
- The talent is there to become a competitor in the Big Ten in pretty short order. A definite upgrade n the coaching department can make that happen.