Wade O'Connor, the former head coach at St. Catharine (Ky.) College, was added to WCU head coach Larry Hunter's coaching staff as an assistant coach in mid-August, 2008.
O'Connor comes to Cullowhee from St. Catharine College in Kentucky, where he coached former Catamount forward, Arnold Gore, who graduated back in the spring. In his first year as head coach at St. Catharine, O'Connor helped lead the Patriots to a 23-8 overall record. For the past four seasons, O'Connor led the Patriot Program to a 94-29 overall record.
During the 2005-06 season, the Patriots finished 25-6 overall and captured a share of the Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association (TJCCAA) regular season championship, the first in school history. The team was ranked as high as 16th in the country by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). In his first season, O'Connor helped lead the Patriots to a 24-8 overall record and was ranked as high as 17th in the country by the NJCAA.
Prior to coming to St. Catharine College, O'Connor spent 10 years among the NCAA D-I coaching ranks. From 1994-96, he was a member of Billy Donovan's staff at Marshall University where the Thundering Herd Marshall won the Northern Division Championship of the Southern Conference in 1994-95. Jason Williams, point guard of the 2006 NBA World Champions Miami Heat, was a member of the Marshall team during O'Connor's tenure with the Thundering Herd.
O'Connor then moved to the University of Dayton, from 1996-2000 under current Clemson coach, Oliver Purnell. During the 1997-98 season, the Flyers posted a 21-12 record and earned a bid in the NIT tournament and finished 22-9 with an Atlantic-10 Western Division championship in the 1999-2000 season. Dayton made NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years.
From 2000-04, O'Connor was the recruiting coordinator for Tulane University in Conference USA. During that time, Tulane was the second-most improved teams in victories in the NCAA and the 2002-2003 recruiting class was ranked 29th in the country out of 327 Division I schools. While at Tulane, O'Connor helped develop future NBA player, Linton Johnson, of the Phoenix Suns.
All told, O'Connor has also coached and developed 31 former players who have played professionally in Europe.
Over the past thirteen years, O'Connor has coached with 13 different head coaches, including the likes of Donovan at Marshall, who is currently the head coach of the 2006 and `07 back-to-back NCAA Champion Florida Gators; Purnell at Dayton; Shawn Finney and Dave Dickerson at Tulane; Ron Jirsa and Donnie Jones at Marshall University; and Gregg Marshall at Wichita State, among others.
O'Connor is a 1994 graduate of Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, Mass., where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education.