New London, CT — Bill McNally is stepping down as Connecticut College’s head men’s and women’s squash coach. McNally will continue to be involved with the program through the next season in an advisory role to help with the transition.
McNally led the Camels for ten seasons. During his tenure, the women were ranked as high as 12th in the nation and the men were ranked as high as 15th. In 2004, the Conn men won the Barnaby Award for team improvement.
In McNally’s final season as head coach, the Conn men defended their Conroy Cup title, winning the “D” Division at the Men’s National Team Championships for the second year in a row. The Camels finished the season ranked 25th in the nation with a 16-11 record. First-year player Caleb Garza was also named NESCAC Rookie of the Year and earned second team All-NESCAC honors. This was the second year in a row that McNally coached a NESCAC Rookie of the Year; Antonio Diaz-Salas Gonzalez, who has since gone on to have success at Trinity, was the 2009 NESCAC Rookie of the Year.
While the Conn women had a more challenging season, finishing with an 8-17 record, they ended the year on a high note. They won two of their three matches at the Women’s National Team Championships (Howe Cup) to finish 3rd in the Epps Cup (“D” Division), improving one spot on their preseason team ranking to finish 27th in the nation. Senior captain Cara Flynn was also named to her second All-NESCAC team.
As a coach, McNally has received a number of recognitions. In 2006, the United States Olympic Committee named him Coach of the Year — Squash. The same year the College Squash Association named him head coach for the 2006 World University Squash Games in Szeged, Hungary, where the United States finished fourth. McNally spent the 2006-2007 season abroad, working with the coaches of the Scottish National Teams at Heriot-Watt University as well as coaches from England, Wales, and Ulster to develop the curriculum for the UK Level 3 Coaching Certification. He also consulted on developing the UK level 4 curriculum.
Chris O’Brien has been named as McNally’s successor. O’Brien has also been named head men’s and women’s tennis coach. He comes to Connecticut College from Roger Williams University, where he coached men’s and women’s tennis for six years. Before that, O’Brien coached squash and tennis at the University of Rochester.