BOCA RATON, Fla. -
“Connor comes to us from an amazing basketball family,” said Jabir. “His mother (Joye Lee-McNelis) is the head coach at Southern Miss, and Connor shares the same enthusiasm, love and passion for the game. We are very happy to have him here.”
While pursuing his bachelor’s degree at USM, McNelis spent three seasons working with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams in multiple capacities.
“I am excited and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this coaching staff,” said McNelis. “My whole life I have dreamed of becoming a college coach. I am so blessed to have been brought up in a basketball family and to have this opportunity to work for a family friend in Coach Jim Jabir.”
Beginning in 2014, McNelis was the Golden Eagles’ men’s basketball team manager as well as a women’s basketball student assistant. With the men’s team, he assisted with skill development and practice live drills. He played a vital in-game role, relaying opponent play calls to the coaches as well as providing a breakdown of opponent strategy at halftime and post-game. With the women’s team, McNelis was responsible for film breakdown using Synergy. He also assisted the coaching staff with all special assignments as well as organized and maintained practice plans and player shot charts.
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. Since 2005, McNelis has worked the yearly Joye Lee-McNelis Basketball Camps assisting in all aspects of the individual, position, team and elite events. He has experience creating and conducting drills for all skill levels. McNelis also worked Doc Sadler Basketball Camps from 2015-16 and aided in booking facilities, created and implemented fundamental station work and drills and handled product inventory.
A Mississippi native, McNelis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports coaching from USM in the summer of 2017. Before pursuing his education as a Golden Eagle, he earned a basketball scholarship and played one season (2012-13) at Emmanuel College.