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    SD Mines Soccer: Conniff named new head coach

    RAPID CITY, S.D. --- South Dakota School of Mines Athletics Director Joel Lueken is pleased to announce Andrew Conniff has been named the new head coach of the Hardrocker men’s soccer program on Tuesday.

    “I am excited to have Coach Conniff lead our men’s soccer program,” Lueken said. “Andrew has demonstrated a strong work ethic and an ability to lead. He has shown a dedication to the Rapid City community and exhibits the characteristics we want of a Hardrocker. We are thrilled to have him step into this new role.”

    Conniff has served as the assistant coach at SD Mines for the past two seasons -- the two best in the program’s short history.

    “I am extremely appreciative of this opportunity, to Athletics Director Lueken, and everyone on the search committee,” Conniff said. “The past two years with SD Mines have played a huge part in my development as a coach. Our players, and the program, have a ton of potential. I am lucky to be part of this team and am incredibly eager to get back on the field with our players to start the 2017 campaign.”

    The 2016 season was the best season in Hardrocker men’s soccer history and also set new marks for most goals, most assists, fewest goals conceded, and save percentage.

    The 2016 season featured the first RMAC All-Conference honorees for the Hardrockers in freshman Justin Barkow and junior Lars Skau. It was also the first season players received a weekly conference honor, as both Jack Seifert and Kyle Daledovich received RMAC Goalkeeper of The Week awards.

    Conniff came to SD Mines after playing a season with the Brisbane Wolves in Australia in 2014 ad prior to his time in Australia, he worked as the Director of Operations for the University of Central Arkansas men’s soccer program.

    Conniff received his Master’s degree in Sport Law and Society from Leeds Beckett University in England.  While studying, Conniff played with Eccleshill United, a semi-professional club, and had the opportunity to train with Bradford City’s Under-21 team.

    After graduating with Cum Laude honors from Benedictine University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, Conniff began training with Bridges FC in Chicago.  Bridges FC exposed Conniff to training at a professional level as several MLS players as well as professional players from overseas came to train during their offseason.

    After his first year at Benedictine University Conniff moved just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia for the summer season with Abbotsford Mariners, then in the Premier Development League.  Here Conniff was exposed to Premier League Academy training as Bolton FC Academy Coaches came out for a month to train the team.

    Conniff grew up in Corvallis, Oregon where he played for Corvallis United Soccer Club and then Eugene Metros FC.

    Conniff takes over as head coach of the program from Jordan Kadlec who served as head coach for two seasons. Conniff becomes the third head coach of the Hardrocker men’s soccer program which was established in 2012.

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