The Australian is one of the most experienced rugby coaches on the circuit and known as a very hard taskmaster who demands total commitment from this players.
As well as coaching the Queensland U19 and U21 sides, he was the state's senior coach for 12 years during which time he was also one of the selectors for the successful Wallaby World Cup side of 1991. From Queensland he went to Stade Français, leading them to the 2001 Heineken Cup Final before joining Swansea at the beginning of last season.
Connolly – known to many in the rugby community by his colourful nickname of 'Knuckles' – will complete the all-Australian coaching team at Bath alongside Michael Foley, Brian Smith and Richard Graham as well as former England boss Jack Rowell as Director of Rugby.
"John has extensive experience at a very high level,"said Rowell.
"The goal here is to re-establish Bath at the top of the Zurich Premiership. At the end of last season an in depth review of the playing side was undertaken.
"This indicated a need to appoint an experienced head coach and John's appointment will allow Foley, Smith and Graham to develop their potential. The review also indicated the need to overhaul the existing playing squad and this is now substantially completed."
Connolly expressed his delight at joining a club with such strong traditions.
"I am extremely excited to be joining this club and am looking forward to this fresh challenge," he said.
"I have been in rugby a long time now and I am fully aware of Bath's illustrious history and am looking forward to making a solid contribution to the club."