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Kyle Conner begins his first season at Valparaiso University taking over as the Crusaders’ special teams coordinator. He will also work with the secondary on a daily basis.
Conner spent five seasons at Indiana University, the last four as the Hoosiers' tight ends coach. He also worked with the tackles in 2010 after assisting with the offensive line in 2009. Conner spent the 2006 campaign, his first with Indiana, in charge of quality control for the offensive staff, before earning a promotion to assistant coach prior to the 2007 season.
Two of the players Conner worked with were either drafted or signed an NFL free-agent deal following the 2009 campaign. Left tackle Rodger Saffold was selected with the first pick in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He became Indiana's highest draft pick since defensive end Nathan Davis (32nd pick, 1997). Tight end Troy Wagner signed a free-agent deal with the Cleveland Browns in April.
Saffold earned second team All-Big Ten honors from the conference media following the campaign, the first All-Big Ten Hoosier offensive lineman since Enoch Demar (second team, 2002). He also participated in the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine and in the 2010 East-West Shrine Game.
The tight ends were also a crucial part of the Hoosier rushing attack. In 2008, Indiana broke the 2,000-yard rushing mark for the second straight year, the first time since 2000 and 2001 an IU team produced back-to-back 2,000-yard rushing seasons. The Hoosiers averaged 4.5 yards per carry and carded 19 rushing scores, their best numbers since 2001 (5.5, 33). Indiana rushed for over 250 yards four times with a season-best 297 yards in the season-opening win over Western Kentucky.
Conner went to Indiana following nearly a decade at Butler University. He spent the 2005 season as the co-offensive coordinator after serving as tight ends coach in 2002 and the wide receivers coach in 2003 and 2004.
A two-time All-Pioneer Football League wide receiver with the Bulldogs (1999-2000), Conner finished his career third on Butler's all-time pass receptions list (124). He owned the second-highest single-season receptions total (63 in 2000) in Bulldogs history and the third-highest single-season receiving yardage total (876 in 2000). He set a Butler single-game record with 260 yards against San Diego as a senior, and he finished his career with Butler's fourth-highest all-time receiving yardage total (1,801).
Conner earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Butler in 2001. Kyle and his wife, Angela, have three children.
Special Teams Coordinator