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Murray State’s Kevin O’Connor selected to participate in inaugural NJCAA symposium

October 02, 2020

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Murray State College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin O’Connor, who led the Aggies to a 25-6 record and a 14 seed in the 2020 NJCAA Championship Tournament, has been selected to participate in the inaugural TopConnect NJCAA symposium set for October 8th and 9th, 2020. The inaugural class is comprised of 30 head men’s basketball coaches and 11 head women’s basketball coaches.

O’Connor was named NJCAA Division I Region II Coach of the Year for the 2019-2020 season, one of 50 impactful coaches in men’s JUCO basketball by Silver Waves Media, and HoopDirt.com Junior College Coach of the Week.

“Coach O’Connor has had a hugely successful year and we congratulate him on being chosen to participate in this new and exciting event,” said MSC President Joy McDaniel.  “It’s great recognition for both Coach O’Connor and Murray State College.”

TopConnect works in conjunction with East Tennessee State University's Doctoral Program in Global Sport Leadership and is a subsidiary of Connected Media, LLC.  The three-word mantra of Connect. Prepare. Lead. identifies the purpose of TopConnect. 

Presenters for the inaugural event include former junior-college coaches Buzz Williams (formerly Navarro College, now Texas A&M), Steve Forbes (formerly Northwest Florida State College, now Wake Forest), Brian “Penny” Collins (formerly Columbia State CC, now Tennessee State), Jay Ladner (formerly Jones County JC, now Southern Miss), Dr. Brittney Ezell (formerly Okaloosa-Walton Junior College, now East Tennessee State), Chris Jans (formerly Chipola College, now New Mexico State), Keitha Adams (formerly Independence CC, now Wichita State), Ryan Ridder (formerly Daytona State College, now Bethune-Cookman) and Chanda Rigby (formerly Pensacola State College, now Troy).  NJCAA President and CEO Dr. Chris Parker and JUCO Advocate CEO Brandon Goble will hold a conversation on breaking through the junior-college stigma. 

Under O’Connor, who was named head coach of the men’s basketball program in July 2017, MSC Aggies were ranked in national NJCAA Division I polls for the first time in the recent past when they received a 21st-place ranking in the January 27, 2020 poll. Over the next four weeks, the Aggies rose as high as 10th place and rode a 13-game winning streak into the last two weeks of the season. Tournament play was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.