The Mayo county board has ratified the appointment of former Limerick u21 hurling manager Leo O'Connor as Mayo hurling coach. O'Connor joins the Mayo hurling management team with fellow Limerick man Christy Phillips (manager ) and Austin Kenny (selector ) from Mayo champions Tooreen.
O'Connor first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Limerick u21 hurling team. In 1987 he missed out on the county's Munster final triumph over Cork, but was included on the starting 15 for the subsequent All-Ireland final. A 2-15 to 3-6 defeat of Galway gave O'Connor a coveted All-Ireland u21 hurling medal.
O'Connor made his senior debut for Limerick in a National Hurling League game against Offaly during the 1988-89 campaign. Later that season he made his championship debut when he came on as a substitute against Kerry. After a number of seasons on and off the team, O'Connor became a more regular player during the 1993-94 league and championship seasons. He also featured as a substitute in the 1994 All Ireland hurling final when Limerick were defeated by Offaly on a scoreline of 3-16 to 2-13, despite being in control of the game with five minutes remaining.
In retirement from playing O'Connor became involved in team management and coaching at club and inter-county level. He enjoyed some success at club level when he guided Mungret to a semi-final in the intermediate championship. In 2009 O'Connor was appointed manager of the Limerick u21 hurling team. After little success in his first two seasons, Limerick reached the provincial decider in 2011. After an epic game with extra time, Limerick emerged victorious on a score line of 4-20 to 1-27.
Mayo's first outing in the Allianz National Hurling League is a home game against recently promoted Fingal on February 16. In the first round of The Christy Ring Cup Mayo play at home against Armagh on May 3.