Chestnut Hill College Director of Athletics and Recreation Jesse Balcer has named Jim Connolly as the Scarlet and Gold’s next Head Women’s Basketball Coach.
“I am very excited to have Jim Connolly on staff at Chestnut Hill College. He has a great basketball mind. Not only that, but he was a great player in the CACC (Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference) as well as a great teammate and leader at Philadelphia University.” Balcer concluded, “I am looking forward to watching and assisting Coach Connolly grow as a coach and leader for our women’s basketball program and the department as well.”
The latest in a history of Jefferson (formerly Philadelphia University) coaches to join the Chestnut Hill College Athletics staff, Connolly was a four-year assistant coach under Lady Ram Head Coach, Tom Shirley. “I am very excited to be a part of the Chestnut Hill College community and to help the Women’s Basketball program grow on and off the court,” said Connolly. “I want to thank the President of Chestnut Hill College, Sister Carol, and Coach Balcer for giving me this opportunity to be a part of the Griffin Athletics staff!” This is Connolly’s first head coaching appointment, adding to a resume that includes assistant posts at Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) rival Jefferson (2015-2019) and Bryn Athyn College (2014-2015).
After a decorated collegiate career playing for storied Jefferson Head Men’s Basketball Coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Herb Magee, Connolly joined the Jefferson Athletics staff as an administrative assistant prior to the 2013-2014 school year. The appointment allowed Connolly to collaborate with upper-level administration to help maintain an organized and efficient athletic department, as well as, design departmental publications and assist in the upkeep of the Jefferson Athletics website; http://jeffersonrams.com. Additionally, Connolly served as the commissioner of the Herb Magee Basketball Camp from 2009-2012.
In 2015, he assumed assistant coaching responsibilities for the women’s basketball program. Under Head Coach – and Jefferson Director of Athletics – Tom Shirley, Connolly was charged with organizing and implementing preseason and postseason skill workouts, film breakdown, and high school recruiting. During his four-year stay, the Lady Rams complied a 94-31 record that included CACC Women’s Basketball Championships in 2015-2016 and 2018-2019, as well as, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II East Region Championship Tournament appearances in 2015-2016, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019.
A three-time All-CACC performer (1st Team; 2011-2012, 2nd Team; 2010-2011, 2012-2013), two-time Philadelphia University Men’s Basketball Most Valuable Player (MVP, 2011-2012, 2012-2013), a 2012-2013 CACC All-Tournament Team member, and a 2009-2010 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) East Region All-Tournament Team selection, Connolly totaled 1,547 points in his collegiate career. He enjoyed two CACC South Division Regular Season Championships (2009-2010, 2011-2012) and a CACC Men’s Basketball Championship appearance in 2012-2013.
Connolly graduated from Philadelphia University (Jefferson) in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. Specializing in accounting, he earned a master’s in business administration in 2014. With three Dean’s List (Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012) semesters, he was a member of the 2012-2013 Capital One/Collegiate Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Division II Academic All-District Team, a 2012-2013 Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia-Area Sports Information Directors Association (Philly-SIDA) Academic All-Area Team selection, and the 2012-2013 Philadelphia University Athletics President’s Award recipient. Connolly also served as a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) team representative for his junior (2011-2012) and senior (2012-2013) seasons.CACC DII