Dan Conners joined Head Coach John Cook’s staff in February of 2011 after spending the previous five seasons at UCLA. Along with coordinating the Huskers’ blocking and defense, Conners is NU’s recruiting coordinator.
During the 2011 season the Huskers made history with their first Big Ten Conference title as they won their 32nd overall conference crown. The Huskers recorded an overall record of 25-5 on the year. The team recorded its 30th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and in doing so, improved its all-time in tournament record to 83-27. In addition, the Huskers' all-time AVCA All-America total reached 71 with Gina Mancuso being named a first-team honoree, while Hannah Werth, Morgan Broekhuis and Lauren Cook were tabbed honorable mention picks. NU notched five All-Big Ten picks as well as six academic All-Big Ten selections.
During his five seasons at UCLA, Conners helped the Bruins to a 124-44 record (.738 winning percentage) and five straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.
The Bruins ranked first in the Pac-10 in blocks per set three times during his tenure (2006, 2008, 2009) and held opponents to under .187 hitting each year.
During his first season at UCLA the Bruins made a run to the national semifinals, but lost to Cook’s Nebraska squad in Omaha at the Qwest Center. The Bruins were one of the hottest teams in the tournament as they opened with four straight sweeps over UAB, Utah, Oklahoma and then beat Hawaii on its home floor to earn a trip to Omaha. UCLA won the first set over the Huskers before Nebraska took three straight to win the match, 3-1.
Nana Meriwether earned first-team AVCA All-America honors under Conners in 2006, as she led the nation in hitting at .448 and blocks with 1.95 per set, while also averaging 4.09 kills per set.
The Bruins came close to making it back to the NCAA semifinals in 2007, but dropped their third match of the season to Stanford on the Cardinal’s home floor during the regional finals, 3-1.
UCLA’s season came to an end in 2008, 2009 and 2010 at the heels of a Big 12 program. Texas took out the Bruins during the opening round of regional play in 2008 before UCLA was bounced on its home floor during the second round of the 2009 tournament by Baylor. The Bruins again fell to the Longhorns during the second round of the 2010 tournament in Austin.
Prior to his time at UCLA, Conners was the top men’s assistant at Cal State Northridge from 2004 to 2006, where he helped the Matadors to a 56-36 record. He was also the head coach of the West Coast Volleyball Club Boys Under-18 team and was named the interim coach of the women’s team at Occidental College, an NCAA Division III program in Eagle Rock, Calif., prior to the 2005 season.
Conners’ UCLA connection started as a player, as he was part of two national championship teams (1998, 2000) and was a contributor on the Bruins’ 2001 NCAA runner-up team that lost to BYU in the national championship match. He averaged 6.25 assists per game in 2001.
Conners went on to play professionally for the Almoradi Volleyball Club in Almoradi, Spain. As the team’s setter, he led the squad to a first-place standing during the regular season and a third-place postseason tournament finish.
While in Spain, Conners started his coaching career, working with an Under-16 girls team associated with the Almoradi club.
A native of Apple Valley, Calif., Conners was a three-sport athlete at Apple Valley High School before attending UCLA. He earned his degree in political science from UCLA in 2001 and is married to the former Becky Green.