Dan O’Connell has been playing and coaching tennis around the world for more than 40 years, and brings that knowledge and skill to the Bronco men's & women’s tennis teams.
He grew up in Champaign, Illinois, attended Eastern Illinois University and, after gaining a master’s physical education from Bemidji State University in 1976, joined the Peace Corps as national tennis coach to the Kingdom of Lesotho.
The International Tennis Federation employed O’Connell to conduct clinics throughout Africa from 1985 to 1991. In 1991, after 15 years based in Africa, he was appointed the first ITF Pacific Oceania Development Officer, a position he held until 2012. During his ITF career, O’Connell visited more than 50 nations to conduct a variety of development programs.
O’Connell is the former president of the Fiji Tennis Association and past secretary general of the Oceania Tennis Federation.
He joined NMMI as a coach in 2012, but since the 1980’s has assisted NMMI in recruiting, identifying more than 40 international student/athletes to receive NMMI scholarships.
“Over the years it has been a joy to watch how NMMI has changed my former shy, quiet champions from Africa and the Pacific, turning them into confident young adults,” O’Connell said. “In the process, life-long friendships and success have been achieved by these NMMI graduates. This success inspires African and Pacific tennis administrators and coaches, who seek scholarship opportunities for their champions. NMMI scholarships provide hope to these junior tennis champions, who dream of the day when they too will gain their NMMI scholarship.”
In addition to O'Connell’s NMMI tennis duties, he is the coordinator of the Oceania Junior College Scholarship Program for the Oceania Australian Foundation and the Oceania National Olympic Committees.
He is married to Isabel O’Connell and their sons William and Tony attended NMMI.