John O'Connor enters his sixth season at the helm of the Spartans.
Over his first four seasons the team has gone 44-28-8, including the 2013 North Atlantic Conference regular season championship and a share of the 2015 NAC title. O'Connor picked up his 200th career win in the Spartans' victory over Western New England in the 2015 ECAC Division III Tournament Quarterfinal and holds a career record of 208-161-44 in 22 years as a collegiate head coach.
During the 2016 season, O'Connor steadied a yound squad during conference season, as the Spartans went 7-2 during NAC play to finish second in the regular season standings and host a NAC Tournament semifinal contest. Thomas Kirk was named NAC Defensive Player of the Year, while Jack Kingdon received NAC Rookie of the Year honors. Castleton finished with an 8-9-2 overall record.
In 2015, O'Connor led the squad to one of its best seasons in program history, as the Spartans posted a 15-5-2 record and finished tied for first place in the North Atlantic Conference with an 8-1 mark. The Spartans also reached the North Atlantic Conference Championship game and ECAC Division III Tournament Semifinals for the first time since 2011. Senior Amir Pasic, who was named the NAC Defensive Player of the Year, was one of five Castleton players to earn NAC All-Conference honors, while O'Connor was named the NAC Coach of the Year for the second time in the three years after the squad won 15 games for just the second time in program history. Forward Jake Tietgens also earned NSCAA All-Region honors, the second player in the last three seasons to earn that honor.
In 2014, the Spartans went 8-10-1 and 5-3-1 in conference play, highlighted by the program's first victory over in-state rival Middlebury. O'Connor had a pair of players earn all-conference honors in Spencer Dandurand and Alex McCormick.
O'Connor's 2013 squad posted a 8-1-1 conference record to earn the regular season championship and top seed in the North Atlantic Conference Tournament before falling to eventual NAC Champion Thomas. Senior Nate Koenemann was named the Defensive Player of the Year and became the program's first NSCAA All-Region selection since 2010, when he was voted to the first team. Overall, O'Connor had five players earn NAC All-Conference honors and was himself named the NAC Coach of the Year as the team finished 13-4-2 overall.
Prior to Castleton, O'Connor served as the head coach for the University of Rhode Island from 2006-2012. During his tenure with the Rams he won an Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship and reached the tournament semifinals on two other occasions. Five of his former players went on to play professional soccer, and three of which played in Major League Soccer, including Geoff Cameron, who is currently a member of the U.S. Men's National Team and Stoke City of the English Premier League.
In addition to his work at the Division I level, O'Connor also served as the head coach at Division III University of Chicago from 1995-2006. In just his second season the team reached the national semifinal and he was named the NSCAA Division III National Coach of the Year. He reached the NCAA Tournament again in 2001 and 2005 when his teams were ranked in the top-15 nationally. While at Chicago he also served as an associate professor in the department of Physical Education.
O'Connor earned his Bachelors of Science in Physical Education from the University of Maine-Orono in 1984 and two years later completed his masters in Education with a concentration in Leadership. From 1990-95, he spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Dartmouth under Bobby Clark, the present coach at the University of Notre Dame. He was a part of two Ivy League Championships with the Big Green, who reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Tournament twice during his tenure in Hanover.
The 23-year collegiate head coach earned a USSF "A" License and holds a NSCAA Premier Diploma. He is active in coaching education through the NSCAA, works with the Vermont Olympic Development Program and is the Technical Director for Summit Football Club.