Tim Connelly joined the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Athletics as the head coach for men’s and women’s cross country in March 2015. After seven years at the helm (including 2020 with no competition due to COVID-19), he has led the program to six NCAA appearances, four University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships (2015, 2016, 2019, 2021), the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Region Championship, and back-to-back Mideast Region Championships (2018, 2019). Connelly has been named the UAA Coach of the Year four times while earning Regional Coach of the Year three times following each of the Tartans Championship runs.
Connelly led the 2021 team to a 12th-place showing at the NCAA Championships, the best since 2009 for Carnegie Mellon, while graduate student Matt Karee earned the program's first All-America honor since 2011 with a 17th-place finish. As the Tartans won their third straight regional meet, seven athletes finished in the top 26 to earn all-region accolades. In 2019, Connelly led the team to a ranking of fourth in the nation following its regional championship. For the second straight season and third time under Connelly, the Tartans finished 18th at the national championship race after finishing 21st in 2017 and 20th in 2016. Those finishes continue a rich Carnegie Mellon men’s cross country tradition of NCAA finishes, as the 2019 team made the program’s 25th appearance in the championship race.
The Tartans dominated one of the toughest regional races in 2019 with all seven competitors earning all-region status. While hosting the UAA Championships in 2019, five Tartans earned all-conference status as the team topped the field for the third time in five years and fifth time overall.
The Tartans compete in one of the toughest regions and earned two third-place finishes and a second-place finish at the Mideast Regional under Connelly before earning the first of two titles in 2018. At least five members have earned All-Region in each of the previous four seasons with 23 total honorees. Adding to the accolades is two UAA Rookies of the Year with 17 runners placing in the top 14 of the conference race the previous four years. Michael OBroin was the latest rookie to earn top honors, as he was the top freshman to finish the regional race in 2018.
Connelly came to Carnegie Mellon with a pedigree of success coaching distance runners after serving 26 years at the University of Notre Dame as the head women’s cross country coach and assistant men’s and women’s track and field coach. He coached the women’s cross country team to a third-place (2002) and fourth-place (2004) NCAA finish during his tenure. In all, Connelly’s teams have made 12 NCAA team appearances, won three Great Lakes Regionals and two BIG EAST Conference titles. Since 1993, Connelly has mentored 15 All-Americans and 28 All-BIG EAST cross country runners.
On the track, Connelly coached the women's middle distance and distance runners at Notre Dame as they earned 32 All-America honors under his leadership. He played a huge factor in the Irish’s three BIG EAST indoor and two outdoor championships as well as nine runner-up team finishes at conference meets (four indoor, five outdoor). In addition, Connelly’s women's distance runners won 14 BIG EAST individual titles.
He is a three-time BIG EAST Women's Cross Country Coaching Staff of the Year winner (2002, 2003, 2005), part of three BIG EAST Women's Indoor Track & Field Coaching Staffs of the Year (2002, 2006, 2013) and two BIG EAST Women's Outdoor Track & Field Coaching Staffs of the Year (2007, 2013). He also was named Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year three times (2002, 2003, 2009), after the Irish won the region crown.
A 1983 Notre Dame graduate, Connelly ran both cross country and track for the Irish. Following his graduation, Connelly served as a graduate assistant coach under Joe Piane while working toward his master's degree in business.
In 1986, Connelly moved on to Syracuse University as an assistant cross country and track coach. During his time in central New York, he coached the men's and women's middle distance and distance runners and managed recruiting duties for both programs. Connelly also completed a second master's degree in physical education with a concentration in exercise science.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Connelly and his wife, the former Donna Southerly, are the parents of two children -- daughter, Ali, and son, Brendan. Ali is an elementary school teacher who graduated from West Virginia University after competing on the women's soccer team, while Brendan is a recent graduate of DePauw University.