Ged O'Connor
Ged O'Connor
Title: Head Coach
Phone: (352) 588-8663
Email: ged.oconnor@saintleo.edu

Ged O'Connor was named head women's soccer coach at Saint Leo University in March 2006 after serving as an assistant coach for the Lions for four seasons. In 11 seasons at the helm, he has a combined record of 123-66-12 and led Saint Leo to seven NCAA Tournament (2006-2009, 2011, 2014, 2016) appearances. O’Connor has led the Lions to SSC Regular Season Championships in 2011 and 2016, along with SSC Tournament Championships in 2008 and 2016. O’Connor is responsible for all SSC titles in program history in his 11 seasons at the helm of the Green and Gold.  

In 2016, the Lions finished with a 13-4-1 record and a 7-1-1 record in the SSC for a first place finish. They took down #9 Nova Southeastern 2-0 on October 25 and #25 Rollins on Nov. 4 on their way to capturing both the SSC Regular Season title and SSC Tournament crown, the first time in program history the team swept both titles.

Following the 2016 season, the Lions finished No. 17 in the NSCAA poll following the season where they ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. O’Connor saw two players earn NSCAA All-America honors as Selena Jaimes and Arielle Kabangu were named to the NSCAA Third Team All-America. The Lions had three players named to the NSCAA First Team All-South Region in Jaimes, Kabangu and Natalie Melillo, where Katie Waddell was named Second Team All-South Region. Kabangu was named to the Division II Commissioner’s Conference Association All-America Honorable Mention after the season as well.

The Lions placed four on the All-SSC teams, with Arielle Kabangu being named the Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, and Selena Jaimes being named the Defensive Player of the Year. O’Connor was named the SSC Coach of the Year after the team posted seven wins in the conference, which ties the most wins in the SSC in program history.

In 2015, the Lions went 7-8-2, and 3-5 for a sixth-place finish in the SSC. They took down No. 24 Valdosta State to start the season, but injuries plagued the Lions all season. Saint Leo placed three on the All-SSC teams, with Arielle Kabangu earning NSCAA All-South Region second team honors.

In the 2014 season, O’Connor led the Lions to a 14-6 record, and a third-place finish in the SSC with a 6-2 record. The Lions also made an NCAA appearance, winning both the first and second round games of the NCAA tournament before to Rollins in the third round. The Lions finished that season No. 15 in the NSCAA poll. Arielle Kabangu was named a First Team Daktronkics All-American, and a Third Team NSCAA All-American. Four Lions were named to the NSCAA All-Region team, and two were named to the Daktronics All-Region team. Saint Leo also placed four on the All-SSC teams.

The Lions got back to their winning ways under the guidance of O’Connor during the 2013 season, finishing the year with a 10-7 mark and producing a four-game win streak during the heart of their conference play. The team excelled offensively, scoring an impressive 57 goals and recording 43 assists on the season. In addition, the team earned several accolades for their performance throughout the season, including three NSCAA All-Region Selections, one NSCAA DII All-America Selection, one Daktronics Division II All-America Selection, one Daktronics All-Region Selection, three All-SSC Selections, and the Sunshine State Conference's Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, and Freshman of the Year. Arielle Kabangu, the Lions’ freshman standout forward, also led the nation in goals scored (22), becoming the statistical champion for all of Division II. 

Fresh off an NCAA post-season tournament appearance, the 2012 season was a rebuilding time for O'Connor's teams. After losing eight solid seniors from the 2011 squad, O'Connor brought in eleven newcomers to help rebuild the program and grow in the longtime tradition of excellence.

O’Connor guided the Lions to the best season in program history in 2011 as the squad finished the campaign sporting a 15-3-1 record en route to its first Sunshine State Conference regular season championship. Additionally, O’Connor’s group earned the top regional ranking in both the NSCAA and NCAA poll while finishing the year ranked No. 23 in the NSCAA Top 25 poll. Making their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last six seasons, the Lions also saw seven different student-athletes earn 18 post season awards, including Cassie Barbaresi’s SSC Player of the Year and NSCAA All-America Third Team accolades. 

Coming off an SSC Tournament Championship season, 2009 was a season where O'Connor earned his coaching stripes as the amount of adversity the Lions faced was unbelievable. Despite everything, O’Connor still guided the Lions to a 9-6-1 season and another finish in the top-half of the Sunshine State Conference.  A program that was affected by the H1N1 (Swine Flu) epidemic at the beginning of the season, saw a number of ACL injuries, weather cancellations, leukemia as well as other issues, Coach O'Connor still guided the Lions to their fourth consecutive berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament.  During the 2009 campaign, Saint Leo also advanced to the SSC Tournament Semifinal.

The 15-5-2 record in the 2008 season became the most successful in the history of the program to that point. Accolades included the SSC Tournament Championship, two All-Americans, two Academic All-Americas, five All-South Region recipients, four All-Sunshine State Conference recipients, and an NSCAA Team Academic Award for success in the classroom.

The 2007 season saw Saint Leo eclipse its single-season record for wins with a 15-5 mark overall, a feat matched in 2008, with an overall record of 15-5-2.  In 2007, The Lions also tied their single-season record for SSC wins with a 6-2 record that was good for second-place in the league for the second year running.  Saint Leo was also the SSC Tournament runner-up for the second straight year and earned the opportunity to host the first and second round of the 2007 NCAA South Region Tournament.

O'Connor burst onto the scene as the Lions' head coach in 2006, leading the team to the most successful season in program history.  Saint Leo set a program record for fewest losses (3) and earned the team's first-ever bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament.  The Lions also advanced to their first-ever SSC Tournament Final after a runner-up finish in the regular season.  Saint Leo was 14-3-2 overall and 6-2 in the SSC, during a season that included an eight-game unbeaten run to start the year and a seven-match winning streak late in the season.  Several players were named All-Conference and All-Region during the campaign.

During his four seasons as an assistant, O'Connor assisted in all phases of running the program with a special emphasis on goalkeeping and recruiting. He has been a major part of the rise of a program that has posted a combined record of 31-15-4 over the last three years.

Prior to making a return to coaching with the SLU staff in 2002, he was a professional Irish dancer in 2001-02.

The 1999 graduate of Webber International University was the starting goalkeeper for four years at the NAIA school. He was named to the Scholar-Athlete All-Region team at Webber. O'Connor graduated with a 3.79-grade point average. During the summer of 1997, he was a member of the Runcorn FC Division 5 team in England, a semi-pro team.

He was named assistant coach of the University of Southern Mississippi women's soccer team, a Division I program in July 1999. He was a camp director in 2000 at Southern Mississippi's residential camp for 350 players, and also served as state ODP goalkeeper director.

From August of 2000 to April of 2001, O'Connor was director of coaching for the Northeast Louisiana Soccer Association. He supervised and administered the training and development of over 1,500 youth soccer players between the ages of five and 19.

O’Connor earned his MBA from Saint Leo University in May of 2004. He also now holds an NSCAA National Goalkeeping License Level II and an NSCAA Premier diploma.  In addition, the Manchester, England, native is also a member of the NSCAA coaching education staff and the chairperson of the NSCAA Regional Rankings and South Region Committees.  An author of numerous soccer coaching articles, O'Connor is a fan of the Everton Soccer Club and is a past member of the NCAA Division II women's soccer committee.

He resides in Wesley Chapel, Fla. and, when away from the pitch, is also an avid boxing fan and high-level judge.

 

Updated 12/6/2016