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Elliott named head coach of Woodstock Academy baseball team

 

Connor Elliott is ready to get to work.

Even if he has several months to wait.

The Woodstock Academy social studies teacher and assistant football coach will now have his own program at the school.

Elliott was recently named head baseball coach.

“It’s already on my mind and I have to keep reminding myself that it is just December, football just ended and it’s time to take a breath. I’m very excited, excited to build on the foundation that Coach (Brian) Murphy has started here. Learning from him the last four years has been an amazing experience and I’m excited for the kids. We have a good, energetic squad coming back,” Elliott said.

Murphy stepped aside after guiding Woodstock Academy for the last seven seasons.

“I’m starting to feel my age, have a few health issues but it’s also time for a change. We’ve had some good years,  won a couple of divisional championships and elevated the program from what it was. I’ve been coaching for 15 or 16 years and (his son) Kaden is in college (a freshman baseball player at St. Joseph’s in West Hartford) and I want to go and see him play,” Murphy said.

He also had a capable assistant in Elliott who was ready to move up.

“I’m just excited that Connor is taking the job. I’ve always been impressed with him over the three years that he has been with me. He has integrity, good knowledge of the game and develops relationships with the players but there is also separation which is big. I think the program is in great hands,” Murphy said.

 

 

Elliott graduated from East Lyme High School in 2014 where he played the corner infield positions and pitched a bit.

He went on from there to play football and club baseball at Stevenson University in Owings Mills, MD before transferring to UConn.

He got into baseball umpiring and coaching including two years with the Niantic American Legion program and two more with an AAU program in the Southeast portion of the state before heading north to Woodstock Academy.

“I’ve been coaching baseball ever since I stopped playing baseball,” Elliott said.

He feels that being coached by and working with Jack Biggs at East Lyme and Murphy with the Centaurs, it has given him a strong pedigree.

“I’m going to do my best to emulate (the East Lyme program) and Coach Murphy as far as the hard work and commitment it requires to be a good baseball team consistently. It’s going to be good to see (East Lyme) and play against them in the (Eastern Connecticut Conference) this year,” he added.

For Woodstock Academy athletic director Sean Saucier, it was the natural move.

“It’s good to have a succession plan,” Saucier said. “He’s been in the program for a few years and it should be relatively seamless but I’m also excited to see what he brings to the team.”

Murphy will still be around the program, helping with offseason conditioning, and the offseason open gyms, volunteering wherever he can something that Saucier is pleased with.

“(Murphy) really has solidified the program and has had a tremendous amount of success. We’re going to miss him but he still plans to be around in almost a consultant’s role and maybe help us with some of the training and extra things with the program,” Saucier added.

Another extra for Elliott.

Murphy did not leave the cupboard bare.

“There are a lot of key returners, guys with a lot of varsity experience where we should be able to plug-and-play some new guys and get their feet wet a bit,” Elliott said.

Another big plus, Woodstock Academy will return its top two starting pitchers.

Junior lefthander Brady Ericson (6-0) gave up just 15 hits and four earned runs in 39 2/3 innings with 76 strikeouts and 19 walks.

Ericson committed this past fall to play for the UConn baseball team in 2025-26.

It means there might be some UConn coaches in attendance at Centaur games or practices and it could give Elliott the opportunity to pick their brains a bit.

“Any insight they have, I would be a fool not to listen to. (The Huskies) have been a top-25 program pretty consistently. I have a buddy that I’m hoping to get on to our coaching staff who actually played for Coach (Jim) Penders at UConn. I’m hoping he comes on to the staff to kind of be a liaison and kind of show Brady what it means to be a Division I athlete,” Elliott said.

In addition, senior Riley O’Brien (5-2, 33 K’s) returns as does fellow senior Eric Mathewson who was the team’s closer last season.

The big thing Elliott would like to see is a couple of steps forward in tournament play as the Centaurs lost to East Lyme in the ECC championship game and fell to Masuk in the first-round of the Class L state tournament.

The Centaurs were Division II champs last year but will move back to Division I this season.

“You can go 20-0 (in the regular season) and still lose in the first round of the ECC and state tournaments and the (20-0) didn’t do anything for you. It’s definitely a point of emphasis. Finish the season, to do that you have to finish games, to do that, you have to finish practices well. The things you do consistently well or not will show up at tournament time,” Elliott said.