Former UM football staffer Fergus Connolly faces nine charges

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
The charges against Fergus Connolly stem from a March drunk driving arrest.

Fergus Connolly, the former director of performance for Michigan’s football team, is facing nine criminal charges stemming from a drunken driving arrest in Ann Arbor in early March.

According to 15th District Court records, the charges were entered earlier this month and Connolly, no longer employed by the university, has a pre-trial hearing scheduled Monday.

Among the charges, operating with a blood alcohol content of .17 or more, two counts of assault and battery, three counts of assaulting a police officer and one count of disorderly conduct.

Connolly was the director of science for the Michigan football team and added “operations director” to his title last year. He was no longer with the football team after the New Year’s Day bowl game and moved to an athletic department role.

He was arrested March 5 at 11:05 a.m. after a hit-and-run incident.

According to the police report, Connolly was disoriented and smelled of intoxicants. He refused a breath test. He yelled profanities at police officers and had to be placed in restraint chair because of “his combative behavior.”

He was taken to the University of Michigan Hospital to have his injured bare feet examined and treated. Connolly grabbed an officer by the throat for a full second, he took an open-hand swing at another officer, and while fully restrained at the hospital he attempted to “turn over and bite” an emergency technician.

Connolly, who has a PhD in computer integration-based optimization from the University of Limerick in Ireland, has worked the last two seasons for Michigan football as the director of performance science. Before his arrival at Michigan, he spent two seasons as director of elite performance with the 49ers.