Nicholls State University Staff Update

Nicholls State University women’s basketball head coach DoBee Plaisance finalized her staff Friday, announcing the additions of Chad Killinger and Connor McNelis.

Both will serve as assistant coaches under Plaisance, who completed her 11th campaign and is the program’s all-time leader in wins. The duo joins third-year assistant Jenny Nash to round out the coaching staff.

“I’m excited about not only the enthusiasm they have for wanting to be a part of this program, but also their desire to get into the fabric of our community,” Coach Plaisance said. “Chad and Connor are extremely hard-working coaches and are going to be assets in terms of us continuing to sustain our success.

Killinger brings 23 years of college coaching experience. He joins Nicholls after helping East Carolina, a member of the American Athletic Conference, to a 16-15 overall record last season.

“Chad has a vast amount of experience coming from a bigger conference, and has coached and enjoyed a lot of success at the junior college level,” Plaisance said.

The Pirates were relentless on the defensive end in 2018-19, ranking 17th in the NCAA in steals and 18th in turnovers forced. ECU was led by Lashonda Monk, who set a new conference record with 116 steals which ranked fifth in the nation.

Prior to East Carolina, Killinger spent seven seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at Moberly Area Community College in Missouri. During his tenure, the program posted the most overall wins in the NJCAA Region 16 with an impressive 147-71 record. The Lady Greyhounds finished in the top three of the region regular season standings in six of seven years while advancing to the Region Tournament semifinals five times.

In 2017-2018, Killinger was named the U.S. Marine Corps/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Two-Year College National Coach of the Year, MCCAC Coach of the Year, and NJCAA Region 16 and District K Coach of the Year as he guided the Lady Greyhounds to one of the best seasons in program history. MACC went 32-1, which were the most wins since 1983-84, earned a No. 4 national ranking, and set a new program record for consecutive wins, which was originally set in 1984-85 and 1990-91.

McNelis comes to Thibodaux after serving two years at Florida Atlantic University as video coordinator/player development.

“Connor was also part of a program from a larger conference and has an excellent coaching pedigree. His enthusiasm for the game is contagious,” Plaisance said.

With the Owls, McNelis was responsible for utilizing Synergy and IMovie for highlights, game and practice breakdown, and recruiting highlights. He also helped formulate and create practice plans and assisted the coaches in creating scouting/game plans.

Prior to joining FAU, McNelis spent three seasons at Southern Miss serving in multiple capacities for the Golden Eagles. Beginning in 2014, he was the men’s basketball team manager as well as a women’s basketball student assistant. With the men’s team, McNelis assisted with skill development and practice live drills.

McNelis grew up around the game of women’s basketball as his mother, Joye Lee McNelis, has been coaching at the collegiate level for more than 30 years and is currently the head women’s basketball coach at USM.