OFFICIAL: Pitino Adds Conroy to Minnesota Basketball Staff

Photo Courtesy Minnesota Athletics

Following up on a rumor from earlier in the week (Minnesota Dirt)…

Minnesota head men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino announced Thursday that veteran mentor Ed Conroy has joined the staff as an assistant coach.

“We are excited about the addition of Ed Conroy,” said Pitino. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that I know will be extremely valuable to me and our staff.”

Conroy, who has more than 25 years of college coaching experience, most recently spent six seasons as head coach at Tulane. While there, he led the Green Wave to two post-season berths and a 20-win season, their first in 13 years, while directing the program through a transition from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference. The back-to-back postseason appearances for the Green Wave were the first since 1996-97, a span of 18 years.

During Conroy’s tenure, Tulane marked a number of signature victories, including their first win over Memphis since 1992 and first over Cincinnati since 1991.  Last season, Conroy led the Green Wave to the AAC semifinals, the first Tulane team to win two conference tourney games since 1983. He guided Green Wave players to seven all-conference honors, including 2012 C-USA Freshman of the Year Ricky Tarrant.

“I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to join Coach Pitino’s staff, as I am excited to work with him but also because I am excited about the future of Minnesota basketball,” said Conroy. “Being a Midwesterner and growing up a Big Ten fan, I am well aware of the quality and depth of this great league. I also know how passionate Gopher fans are and how much the program means to the community and the entire state. My family and I look forward to being a part of it all.”

Prior to arriving in New Orleans, Conroy was the head coach for four seasons at his alma mater, The Citadel. Named the 2008-09 Southern Conference Coach of the Year and Skip Prosser Man of the Year, Conroy led the Bulldogs that season to a 20-13 record and postseason berth in the CIT, finishing runner-up to future NBA All-Star Stephen Curry and his Davidson Wildcats. It was the school’s first 20-win campaign in 30 years and second in program history.

The Davenport, Iowa native has served as an assistant coach at six different schools throughout his career. Prior to landing the head job at The Citadel, he spent one season as an assistant at Coastal Carolina, following stints at Tennessee (2003-05) and Tulsa (2000-01).

Conroy’s first head coaching job came from 1997-2000 at Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C., where he earned the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year award in 1998. That was preceded by  assistant coach stops at Furman (1994-97), VMI (1993-94) and N.C. State (1990-93).

A four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1985-89, Conroy is sixth on The Citadel’s all-time free throw shooting ranking (.815) and ranks as the school’s eight-best career 3-point shooter (.395). His 245 career assists are 12th among the Bulldog record books. A three-year starter, he served as team captain as a senior and held the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Corps of Cadets, the highest rank achieved by a basketball player in the modern era at The Citadel.

Conroy, who has made four trips overseas to the Middle East as part of Operation Hardwood, and his wife Ginny have three children: daughter, Hannah, and sons Riley and Hunt.  His son Riley is a redshirt sophomore on the Green Wave while Conroy’s brother, Duffy Conroy, is an assistant basketball coach at Louisiana Tech.

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