Mike Donnelly is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Florida Southern College men’s basketball program. He joined the Mocs after five highly-successful seasons as the head coach at Southern Connecticut State University. Under his direction, the Moccasins won 21 games in 2017-18 and finished third in the Sunshine State Conference despite being selected ninth in the SSC Preseason Coaches Poll. FSC went on to earn a spot in the NCAA South Regional and upset No. 1 seed Morehouse in the first round.
In three seasons at Florida Southern, Donnelly has coached six all-Sunshine State Conference selections, including FSC's first-ever SSC Defensive Player of the Year (Jarel Spellman). In just two seasons, Spellman set the school's all-time record for career blocks (196). In addition to Spellman, former Moccasins Dylan Travis (first team, 2015-16), Dominique Williams (second team, 2015-16) and Jeremiah Davis (all-newcomer, 2016-17), Brett Hanson (second team, 2017-18) and Jonathan Lawton (first team/all-newcomer, 2017-18) have also earned all-conference accolades. Travis was a 2015-16 honorable mention all-American according to Division II Bulletin, was an NABC all-district selection, and earned a spot on the NABC Division II all-star team. Lawton earned NABC all-district honors last year, and the Moccasins also earned the NABC Division II National Team of the Week award on Feb. 6 after defeating Eckerd and then No. 25 Barry in the same week.
During the program's first three years under Donnelly, the Moccasins have finished among the top 50 teams in the nation in 24 different statistical categories including third nationally in three-point field-goals per game (11.9) in 2015-16, sixth in blocks per game (5.3) and seventh in total blocks (154) in 2016-17, and eighth in scoring offense (88.4 ppg) in 2017-18.
Florida Southern also excelled in the classroom in Donnelly’s first three years as 26 players have been named to the SSC Honor Roll. Two of Donnelly's players have earned CoSIDA Academic all-District accolades, while five have been named to the NABC Honors Court. The Moccasins have twice earned the NABC Team Academic Award since Donnelly's arrival at FSC.
In his previous coaching stop at Southern Connecticut State, Donnelly engineered an impressive turnaround in leading the Owls to national prominence. In his first year at SCSU, Donnelly led the Owls to their first Northeast-10 Conference tournament appearance in nearly a decade.
In Donnelly’s five seasons at the helm, Southern Connecticut posted a record of 97-48, and made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2014 and 2015. Donnelly’s 2013-14 squad finished 30-3 and advanced to the Elite Eight of the national tournament. Along the way, the Owls won their first-ever NE-10 regular-season and tournament titles and Donnelly was named as the NABC Regional and NE-10 Coach of the Year.
A native of Connecticut, Donnelly began his college head coaching career at Division II Post University in Waterbury, Conn., where he coached from 2003-10. During his time at Post, Donnelly led the Eagles to three Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Regular Season Titles. He finished his time at Post as the school’s all-time wins leader (98) and was named as the CACC Coach of the Year in 2007, when the Eagles finished a perfect 13-0 at home.
Prior to taking over as head coach at Post, Donnelly served as the head boys’ basketball coach at Notre Dame of Fairfield (Conn.) and Brookfield (Conn.) High Schools. Prior to that, he served for two seasons as an assistant coach at Post.
As a student-athlete, Donnelly began his collegiate career at Central Connecticut State University, where he was a starting guard for the Blue Devils from 1993-95. He served as team captain as a sophomore and was also named All-East Coast honorable mention by Eastern Basketball in 1994.
Donnelly transferred to Sacred Heart University following his sophomore season and was a starting guard for head coach Dave Bike for two years. He was selected to the Honors Court by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for his academic prowess in the classroom.
Donnelly was a four-year member of the boys’ basketball team at St. Joseph’s High School in Trumbull, Conn. for legendary head coach Vito Montelli. He helped St. Joe’s win back-to-back state championships and served as team captain as a senior. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Sacred Heart.
Donnelly and his wife, Jill, have two daughters, Kara and Payten.
DONNELLY'S CAREER RECORD
|2010-11||Southern Conn. St.||D-II||12||15||0||.444|
|2011-12||Southern Conn. St.||D-II||14||13||0||.519|
|2012-13||Southern Conn. St.||D-II||17||10||0||.630|
|2013-14||Southern Conn. St.||D-II||30||3||0||.909|
|2014-15||Southern Conn. St.||D-II||24||8||0||.750|
|15 Season Career||237||200||0||.542|
|7 Seasons at Post||98||103||0||.488|
|3 Seasons at Florida Southern||42||48||0||.467|
|5 Seasons at Southern Conn. St.||97||49||0||.664|