On Friday, Sept. 30, at halftime of the Miami Trace Homecoming game against McClain, former head coach Jeff Conroy was recognized for his upcoming induction into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, which will take place in June of next year.
The following are remarks given by Miami Trace Athletic Director Aaron Hammond as Conroy and his wife, Rogina, stood with their two grandchildren, granddaughter Bentley and grandson, Baylor.
“The Miami Trace football program has long been known for its tradition of excellence,” Hammond began. “Over the years, there have been many names strongly associated with Miami Trace football — some who excelled on the field — Lee, Jones, Schlichter, Cobb, Grooms, Andrews and Williams, to name a few; others wore a whistle — Lucas, Hill, Zechman and Riffey, however, no individual has been more closely associated with Miami Trace football and its success than (Conroy).
“Jeff Conroy, a 1976 graduate of Jackson High School, was a standout quarterback for the Ironmen,” Hammond said. “Following graduation, Jeff attended and graduated from Ohio University. After stops as an assistant football coach at Trimble High School and Waverly High School, Jeff earned his first head coaching position at Oak Hill High School. In four seasons at Oak Hill, Conroy’s teams compiled a 37-3 record.
“Conroy was hired by Miami Trace to lead the Panther football program going into the 1990 season,” Hammond continued. “For the next 18 seasons, Conroy helped lead the program to a record of 139-50. Conroy’s teams qualified to the playoffs five times with his 1996 team making it all the way to the State Final Four before falling to eventual State champion Fostoria.
“Conroy’s teams were known for their cohesiveness, for being hard-working and for representing their school with class and character,” Hammond said. “In addition to his leadership of the football program, Jeff has also been a leader in our buildings, as well. He originally was hired as a physical education and health teacher. He then went on to serve as principal at Eber Elementary for nine years before serving as principal of Jeffersonville Elementary for two years. He then served as the assistant principal at Miami Trace High School before being selected to serve as principal of Miami Trace Middle School.
“During his time at the Middle School, Conroy oversaw the transition from the historic Bloomingburg building to the new state-of-the-art Middle School on our centralized campus,” Hammond explained. “Jeff currently serves as principal of Miami Trace Elementary where he oversees over 1,200 students and staff.”
In June of 2017, Conroy will be inducted into the 2016 Class of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“It is a well-deserved honor that Jeff is quick to point out would not have been possible if not for the work and dedication of those who played and coached under his leadership,” Hammond said.
Conroy and his wife, Rogina, have been staples in the community for 27 years, Hammond said. They have two children — Kyle Barnum, who works for The Ohio State University as she completes her nurse practitioner licensing program, her husband, Dan, teaches at Teays Valley and is an assistant football coach at Westfall High School. The Conroy’s son, Brock, is a science teacher and football coach at Oak Hill High School. The Conroy’s are the proud grandparents of two, a girl, Bentley and a boy, Baylor, with a third on the way.
“Jeff Conroy may not have been born a Panther, but he is a Panther,” Hammond said in conclusion. “His service to our community as an administrator, coach, mentor and friend, has been a blessing to the Miami Trace Local System. Congratulations, Jeff on your Hall of Fame induction and thank you for your service to our district.”