On Jan. 13, 2015, Ryan Connolly was named the newest assistant coach for the Virginia Tech baseball program, and returned to Blacksburg after two years away. Connolly had spent two seasons (2011-12) with the Hokies as a volunteer assistant coach before moving on to a full-time role. This will be his fourth season overall with the Hokies and his sixth season in the coaching profession.
Phone: (540) 231-3098
Born: May 3, 1987 - Binghamton, New York
Hometown: Binghamton, New York
High School: Binghamton (2005)
College: Notre Dame (2009)
Notre Dame (2006-10)
|2010-12||Virginia Tech, volunteer assistant coach|
|2012-13||Radford, assistant coach|
|2013-14||Oklahoma, volunteer assistant coach & recruiting coordinator|
|2015-||Virginia Tech, assistant coach|
As a player ...
|2006||BIG EAST Conference Tournament|
NCAA Lexington, Kentucky, Regional
|2007||BIG EAST Conference Tournament|
|2008||BIG EAST Conference Tournament|
|2009||BIG EAST Conference Tournament|
As a coach …
|2013||Big South Conference Tournament|
|2014||Big 12 Conference Tournament|
|2015||Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament|
At Tech, he is in charge of the hitters and the outfielders. He also assists in the Hokies’ recruiting efforts and other day-to-day operations for the program.
In 2015, the Hokies saw increases in many offensive categories, including scoring almost 40 more runs, slugging more than 30 points higher and collecting 77 more extra bases thanks in part to 23 more home runs. Five players batted better than .305 on the season, three more than the previous season.
Connolly also helped centerfielder Saige Jenco become a 2015 MLB draft choice, but would see him return to Blacksburg for another season. Jenco improved his draft selection in 2016 – going almost 100 picks better – and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers to start his pro career.
Also in 2016, the Hokies again saw improvement at the plate. They had a higher batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage from the previous season. Tech scored more runs, had more RBIs, drew more walks, and hit more doubles than in 2015.
A 2009 graduate of Notre Dame, Connolly spent his first two years in the coaching profession – the 2011 and 2012 seasons – on Tech’s bench with Patrick Mason, who was the pitching coach at the time, and former head coach Pete Hughes.
For the 2013 season, Connolly worked as a full-time assistant just down the road at Radford University and helped the Highlanders to a 30-26 record and a fourth-place finish in the Big South Conference with a 14-10 mark.
At Radford, Connolly’s primary roles were to work with the hitters and the Highlanders outfielders and catchers, and handled many other assignments like travel and equipment.
When Hughes left Tech for Oklahoma, he pulled Connolly away from Radford and that’s where he spent the 2014 season, working as the volunteer assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Sooners. The team finished with a 29-29 record and advanced to the Big 12 Tournament.
In Norman, he was again charged with working with the hitters and catchers and also took on the Sooners’ 19 Ways initiative, which Hughes started here in Blacksburg and duplicated in his new program
Connolly, a native of Binghamton, New York, led the Fighting Irish in 2010 with a .335 batting average, which included team highs of 11 home runs and 38 RBIs. He also led the team in hits (66), doubles (15), triples (2), total bases (118), slugging percentage (.438) and hit by pitch (20). He was a four-year Monogram winner and a two-time captain.
Connolly and his mother, Penny, are co-chairs of the Michael E. Connolly Endowment for Lung Cancer Research, named in honor of his late father.