Strength and Conditioning Coach at the 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
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
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.
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.
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,
Connors and his wife, Michele, have a daughter, Kaitlin and a son, Beau.