In the spring of 1965, Hall of Fame member Virginia Moessmang started the girls’ track and field program at Branford High School. Since the inception of the team, Kevin Connell has enjoyed the longest tenure as head coach and he has led the program to unprecedented success.
Kevin began his outstanding running career at BHS in 1970 under cross country coach Stan Petela and track coach Dave Johnson. As a high school athlete, he was a state qualifier and he earned numerous varsity letters in both sports. At the 1972 Housatonic League Championship Meet, Kevin placed in the mile, which helped the Hornets defeat North Haven by the score of 48 to 47 to secure the title.
Following graduation, he attended Milford Academy and then Providence College where he graduated in 1978 with a degree in history. In the early 1980’s, Kevin was one of the elite runners for the Warren Street Social and Athletic Club, which captured many state road racing championships. The pinnacle of his individual career took place in 1985 when Kevin won the Columbus Day 15 K in Stamford. In total, he has competed in nine marathons and hundreds of road races.
During his coaching career, Kevin has served in numerous positions. From 1980 to 1982 he was the assistant cross country coach at North Branford High School. At his Alma mater, Kevin has served as the head coach of the girls’ indoor and outdoor track teams, and the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams. Overall, his combined coaching record is an impressive 338-236-3. His teams have won seventeen SCC divisional championships. In 2003, the Hornets were the outdoor track State Open runner-ups and in 2008 the girls were the SCC indoor track runner-ups. Amazingly, in the past nineteen years, the girl’s track program has produced three dozen ALL SCC and two dozen ALL State athletes as well as two state record holders.
Kevin claims that one of his greatest thrills in coaching is having many of his former athletes still involved in the sport long after they graduate. Furthermore, he is proud that a handful have also become high school coaches.
Tonight’s inductee is currently teaching social studies at Branford High School in the Horizons Alternative Education Program. Kevin (BHS Class of 1973) and his wife Ellen Cretella Connell (BHS Class of 1975) have three children named Zac, Ian and Maura. The family resides in Guilford.