12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
The list of approximately 40 applicants features international contenders from the major leagues of world rugby and a number of head coaches who have operated at international level.
The pedigree and quality of the applicants is testament to the progress the westerners have made over the last number of years.
The next stage in the process will take place in the coming weeks with shortlisting and interviews conducted by a four-man selection panel of CEO Tom Sears, two members of the Connacht Professional Game Board, Conor McGuinness and Steve Cunningham, along with a representative of the IRFU.
It is expected that the decision on a new head coach to replace the departing Eric Elwood next season will be decided early in 2013.
Connacht Rugby CEO Tom Sears is delighted with the response the high profile position has garnered.
"The level of interest and quality of people who have come forward both externally and internally is hugely encouraging," he said.
"We have some exceptional coaches with excellent track records to select from and we are more confident than ever that we will be able to recruit the right person to take Connacht to new heights."
"Just as important as the qualities and track record of the applicants will be their understanding of what Connacht Rugby is all about. They have to be the right person as well as the right coach for us.
"They have to share our ambition and be able to deliver it and to do that they have to appreciate what makes Connacht a special place and buy into everything that Connacht means."