Conners spent the past two seasons coordinating Illinois' defense
Dan Conners completed his second season as an assistant coach for Illinois in 2013.
Conners works on the defensive side of the ball, coordinating the Illini blocking system. In his first season at Illinois, the Orange and Blue tallied 13 double-digit blocking matches, while senior Erin Johnson finished fifth in the Big Ten with 1.19 blocks per set. Illinois matched that number in 2013, with 13 additional double-digit blocking matches, inlcuding a combined 31.0 in back-to-back matches against No. 17 Kentucky and No. 14 San Diego. In charge of coordinating and managing scouting, Conners is also influential in the recruiting process.
Conners spent the 2011 season as an assistant for John Cook at Nebraska, helping the Huskers to the Big Ten title in their first season in the league. Conners was the recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator for a team that led the conference in opponent hitting percentage.
Prior to his stint in Lincoln, Conners worked alongside head coaches Andy Banachowski and Mike Sealy at UCLA from 2006-10. He played a role in recruiting the players to UCLA that won the 2011 national title, defeating Illinois in the championship match.
In his five years, UCLA compiled a 124-44 record and made five trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a trip to the 2006 national semifinals and the 2007 Elite Eight.
Conners helped engineer the blocking and defensive schemes at UCLA as well, resulting in the Bruins leading the Pac-10 in blocks three times (2006, 2008 and 2009) and holding opponents to a .187 hitting percentage or worse each year.
Conners began his coaching career at Cal State Northridge, where he was the top assistant for head coach Jeff Campbell's men's team from 2004-06. In those three years, the Matadors compiled a 56-36 record. He also was the head coach of the Southern California Volleyball Club Boys Under-18 team, the Sportsshack Volleyball Club Girls U-15 and -16 teams, and a coach for the West Coast Volleyball Club.
Conners graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science from UCLA in 2001 after setting for four Bruins teams that reached the national championship match. UCLA won titles in 1998 and 2000 and finished runner-up in 1997 and 2001.
He played professionally in Spain as a setter for the Almoradi Volleyball Club in 2001-02, leading the club to first place in its league during the regular season and to the semifinals of the playoffs.
Conners has a wife, Becky, sons Wyatt and Oliver, and a stepson, Mason.