Darryl Conway '95 has become the University of Michigan's first-ever associate athletic director of student-athlete health and welfare.
by Stephen Levine“The Adelphi sport management program was instrumental for me. I wouldn’t be where I am without it.”—Darryl Conway
For Darryl Conway ’95, there have been several different stops along the way since he received his M.S. in Sport Management and sports medicine from Adelphi University. Mr. Conway has interned and worked full time for pro football’s New York Jets. He also worked at several universities until one well-known institution created a position just for him.
On June 5, 2013, Mr. Conway became the University of Michigan’s first-ever associate athletic director of student-athlete health and welfare. His responsibilities include supervising Michigan’s athletic trainers, nutritionists and equipment managers, while also serving as a liaison to the university’s team physicians.
“It’s an incredible honor,” he said. “I’m incredibly lucky and blessed to be in this position.”
After earning his graduate degree in Adelphi’s Ruth S. Ammon School of Education and before arriving on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus, Mr. Conway worked in the athletic departments at the University of Delaware, Morgan State University, the University of Northern Iowa, the University of Central Florida and, most recently, the University of Maryland. At Maryland, he supervised 16 athletic trainers, eight team physicians and three physical therapists.
Each position prepared Mr. Conway for his current role by allowing him to experience “the administrative side and see the vision and know how to complete that vision,” he said. Upon his arrival at Michigan, he was already knowledgeable about the business of athletics and what it takes to succeed in the field.
“Darryl is an excellent addition to our athletic department and comes in an area of great importance,” Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said. “The health and welfare of our student-athletes is critical to our success as an athletic department.”
Player safety in professional and collegiate athletics has become a major topic of discussion, and Mr. Conway said he takes seriously his responsibility to protect the student-athletes in his care.
“My biggest goal is to improve the health and wellness of the student-athlete—not just physical health, but mental and emotional health as well,” he said.
Mr. Conway believes the new rules emphasizing safety in the National Football League are beneficial to the welfare of the players. Still, he thinks that professional players and coaches need to become more aware of the possible long-term effects of concussions and other head injuries. He advocates a raise in consciousness, similar to what occurred in the NFL after former Minnesota Vikings player Korey Stringer died from dehydration during a team practice in 2001.
“Since Stringer’s death, heat and hydration were put at the forefront,” he said. “Since that time, coaches have been shunned [for not] giving water breaks. We’re on our way because of this heightened sense of awareness.”
Although he graduated from Adelphi nearly two decades ago, Mr. Conway still credits the University as the biggest factor in landing the job he now holds. The sport management program allowed him to learn from the best professors in the New York metropolitan area, he said.
“The Adelphi sport management program was instrumental for me,” he said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without it.”
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