Katie O'Connell joins the staff this year after completing a stellar four-year playing career for Illinois.
O'Connell was part of the first graduating class and ranks second on the Illinois all-time list in doubles (31), and fourth in hits (153), runs (83), total bases (230), and walks (60).
O'Connell started nearly every game (250) for Illinois at second base in her four years with the Illini, and combined with shortstop Lindsey Hamma to pose a formidible double play combination. O'Connell was one those player who demonstated the "intagibles" that make up a great team player and was rewarded by earning the team's Coaches Award in 2002. She was known as a run producer, driving in 98 runs with her 153 career hits.
The native of Joliet, Ill., O'Connell completed a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. Playing for her father, Dale, O'Connell, she helped Joliet to the 2000 Class AA State title. An All-State performer, she was named to Joliet's "Athletes of the Century" team.