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His appointment marks a return to the Golden State for the Apple Valley native, who also spent three years as an assistant coach with the Cal State Northridge men's volleyball team from 2003-06.
Conners has served on the staffs at three elite women's programs during the past eight seasons: Illinois, Nebraska and UCLA. In 2013, his second season with the Illini, he helped the program to an 18-15 season and a berth in the NCAA tournament. Illinois posted 10 victories against AVCA Top 25 programs that year. He also gained experience with the Northridge men's team where he worked in all aspects of the Matadors' program.
Before arriving in Champaign, Conners enjoyed a one-year stint as a recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator for former AVCA Coach of the Year John Cook at Nebraska. His team led the Big Ten in opponent hitting percentage, capturing the conference title in its first season as a member.
Conners previously served five seasons under head coaches Andy Banachowski and Mike Sealy at his alma mater from 2006-10. During that time, the Bruins posted a combined 124-44 record and made two trips to the Elite Eight tournament. Conners' recruiting at UCLA resulted in a national title in 2011. The Bruins led the Pac-10 Conference in blocks three times and held opponents to a .187 clip or lower every year.
As a collegian, Conners was a member of the Bruins' 2001 team that finished as national runner-up. He totaled 125 assists as a reserve setter that year, shortly before graduating with a degree in political science. He was with the UCLA program when it won NCAA titles in 1998 and 2000 while finishing second in 2001.
With his appointment, Conners became the 10th head coach in program history. He and his wife, Becky, have three sons: Mason, Wyatt and Oliver.