Conarroe tabbed as Head Basketball Coach at Colorado College

Photo Courtesy Dave Reed

Jeff Conarroe, associate head coach for the men’s basketball program at Division I California State University, Bakersfield, has accepted the position of head men’s basketball coach at Colorado College, Vice President and Director of Athletics Lesley Irvine announced today.
Conarroe, a 1999 graduate and three-year letter winner in basketball at Colorado College, spent the last nine seasons at CSU Bakersfield, the first eight as an assistant coach before his promotion to associate head coach prior to the 2019-20 campaign. He will begin his duties at CC on June 2.
“Colorado College is a special place that is an ideal fit for me and my family,” Conarroe said. “I am grateful to Lesley Irvine for believing in me, her passion for Colorado College and vision for CC Athletics is clear and she is a big reason I am coming home. I would also like to thank President Tiefenthaler for this opportunity and her excellent leadership of the College, and Dean (Mike) Edmonds, who has been a mentor to me just like many alums, I can’t thank him enough.”
During his tenure at CSUB, Conarroe helped head coach Rod Barnes rebuild the program and send the `Runners to their first-ever berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament in 2016 and three postseason appearances in the last four years, excluding the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season.
“I am thrilled to welcome Jeff back home to Colorado College,” Irvine said. “Jeff stood out in what was a very competitive national search. He is a high integrity leader whose passion for his alma mater is contagious and engaging. I have no doubt that the men’s basketball program will thrive under his leadership and look forward to supporting him and the program in this next chapter.”
On the court, the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons were the most memorable for the `Runners during Conarroe’s tenure. He helped guide the team to a 49-19 record and a 26-2 mark in the Icardo Center during that span. In 2015-16, CSUB earned its spot in “March Madness” after winning the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

The following season, the `Runners won the WAC regular-season championship and became the first-ever No. 8 seed to reach the NIT semifinals. CSUB also finished No. 9 in the mid-major Top 25 with the highest RPI in program history at 59. The `Runners were in the Top 10 of several defensive categories nationally, including a No. 1 ranking in transition defense and No. 2 ranking in defensive points per possession, while the team included its first-ever Defensive All-American selection (Jaylin Airington).

The 2018-19 season featured CSUB’s third trip to the postseason in the last four years as Bakersfield accepted an invitation to the Postseason Tournament (CIT) and again proved to be a force on the road. CSUB won back-to-back games away from home before falling in the CIT quarterfinals.

Conarroe was integral in the academic transformation of the CSUB men’s basketball program, which graduated 30 players in seven years. During that period, the program also achieved a perfect APR score of 1000 and raised the team cumulative grade-point average above 2.7. As a reflection of their efforts in the classroom, eight `Runners earned academic all-conference honors during Conarroe’s tenure.
Prior to his stint at CSUB, Conarroe worked with Barnes as director of operations at Georgia State from 2007-11 and an administrative aide and graduate assistant at the University of Mississippi from 2003-06.
“I have been fortunate to work with one of the best coaches in the country for 16 years of my career,” Conarroe said. “Coach Barnes has been an exceptional mentor and gigantic influence on my life. His resume speaks for itself, but he is loyal and a great friend. He and his wife Bridgett have made my family a part of their family. It will be hard to leave as the players, staff and alumni are all such big part of our lives. We are so thankful to CSUB and the city of Bakersfield for accepting us as your own. There is no doubt there is legacy here and I’m honored to be a part of it.”  

After playing basketball for three years at Colorado College and receiving the team’s Tiger Award for inspirational leadership, Conarroe graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics and served as an assistant coach at the school during the 1999-2000 season.
“The Colorado College student-athlete experience is one of the best in the country,” Conarroe added. “We should quickly be able to build a championship culture as CC is the premier platform to achieve a holistic standard of excellence on and off the court and in the lives of our student athletes. Everything the school’s ethos embodies creates opportunities where competitive success and academic excellence should be expected.”
Following a year away from the game, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colo., before attending Ole Miss for graduate school. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from Ole Miss in 2004.

Conarroe’s wife, the former Mary Everett, lettered three years in Division I soccer and four years in Division III lacrosse at Colorado College. She is third on the career scoring list for lacrosse with 252 points and led the Tigers to their first-ever NCAA playoff berth as an All-America selection as a senior in 1999. As a member of the soccer team, she collected 18 career goals and 45 points and, in 2008, became was the first female inducted into the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame that played at both the Division I and III levels.
The Conarroe’s are the proud parents of two sons, Caleb (9) and Cooper (7).

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