« Lacrosse 2021

Conor Gaffney

School

Lehigh University

Position
Midfield/Forward
Major
Management Science and Engineering (Master's)

Classroom

Gaffney’s academic success is endless, completing his undergraduate degree last spring with a 3.94 GPA as a double major in mechanical engineering and integrated business and engineering. He is now working towards his master’s degree in management science and engineering. Still with a year remaining, Gaffney has already tied a Patriot League record by twice winning the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He is the only Patriot League men’s lacrosse student-athlete ever named a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. He was named to the second team in 2020 and is a multi-time winner of the team’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.

Gaffney has put forth a perfect 4.0 semester GPA on multiple occasions and has been named to the Dean’s List every semester. He is doing this in two of Lehigh’s most demanding curriculums at a school that’s tied for 49th nationally in the U.S. News and World Report top national universities. In his first semester of graduate school, Gaffney posted a perfect 4.0 GPA.

He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Gaffney won the Elisha P. Wilbur Mathematics Award for the top performance in first-year engineering mathematics courses.

Gaffney is back at Lehigh for a fifth year via the President’s Scholarship program, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement by undergraduate students by providing a fifth year of study free of tuition.

Character

Gaffney is a well-respected team member who has developed into a strong leader by example on the field, in the classroom, in the weight room, and more.

He has been heavily involved in Lehigh men’s lacrosse’s Leadership Council. In addition, integrity is an important component of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

Gaffney has shown strong leadership in a number of other ways. He is the founder of South Jersey Faceoff Club, a youth faceoff instruction and training program that’s run in affiliation with the TRIBAL Lacrosse Club. He has developed and managed strong relationships with customers through effective communication, managing all logistics, promotions, and financials of the business.

Community

Gaffney and the Mountain Hawks have continually taken part in community service. Just a few days into every fall semester, the men’s lacrosse program holds its annual community service kickoff for the City of Bethlehem Parks and Recreation.

In each of the last four seasons, Lehigh has taken part in the Nicholas Colleluori Classic. Lehigh joined forces with the HEADstrong Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to providing essential services to improve lives affected by cancer. For perspective, in 2017, Lehigh Lacrosse more than quadrupled its initial fundraising goal of $3,000 by raising $13,339 for HEADstrong’s 2017 “Go Lime” campaign. It was the most money raised by any team or group of teams in the entire campaign. Then in 2018, the Mountain Hawks shattered their goal, raising over $20,000 for the fight against cancer. The strong fundraising has continued the last two years.

In addition, every holiday season, Gaffney and the Mountain Hawks take part in Adopt-A-Family, where they provide a holiday for a local underprivileged family. The process includes shopping for gifts, wrapping them, and delivering them in early December. The pandemic changed how things looked, but Lehigh Athletics continued to raise funds and help local families in need, but in different ways.

Gaffney also gave back to the community when he was a PPL Electric Utilities intern, taking part in Intern Community Day – completing various tasks to better the community’s appearance.

Competition

On the field, Gaffney has been incredibly impressive. Prior to 2020, he was one of just two Patriot League players named a preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse. In 2019, Gaffney was named Patriot League Faceoff Specialist of the Year and an honorable mention USILA and Inside Lacrosse All-American. As a junior, Gaffney set league and program records for faceoff wins (249) and groundballs (152) in a season. He finished fourth nationally in faceoff percentage, winning 69.7 percent, including 60 percent or better in 15-of-17 games.

Gaffney has won a Patriot League weekly award 14 times in his career – seven as a freshman (Faceoff Specialist of the Week three times and Rookie of the Week four times), four as a sophomore, and three as a junior. Gaffney was named first team All-League as a sophomore, finishing first in the league with a 59.4 faceoff percentage which was good for 14th nationally. Gaffney has played a key role in the team’s success, helping the Mountain Hawks to back-to-back Patriot League Championship Games. As a junior, he was named to the All-Tournament Team after winning 15-of-22 vs. Boston University then 18-of-22 against Army West Point in a dominant effort. In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Gaffney was ninth nationally in faceoff percentage (65.7 percent).

For his career, Gaffney has won 63.9 percent of his faceoffs (669-of-1047) with 391 groundballs. In April of his junior season, Gaffney became the program’s all-time leader for career groundballs.