Ohio Dominican University Announces Bill Conley as New Head Football Coach
COLUMBUS, OH – As part of its overall strategy to gain national recognition for its athletic programs as it moves closer to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II membership, Ohio Dominican University has named former Ohio State University (OSU) Buckeyes Assistant Coach Bill Conley as its new head football coach.
Conley will be introduced to the public at a 2:00 p.m. news conference today at the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center on the Ohio Dominican University campus, 1216 Sunbury Road. Parking is available in the Gold Lot, west of Sunbury Road from St. Dominic Way. The event will be broadcasted via the web site.
“We are extremely excited to announce Bill Conley as our new head football coach. Ohio Dominican University is very fortunate to have a college coach of Bill’s caliber heading our program,” said ODU Interim President Ron Seiffert. “His longevity and successful record as an assistant coach for the Buckeyes, and his ability as a proven recruiter of the highest caliber, will serve our university well as we move into NCAA Division II. Bill is the perfect fit for our program, and we are confident that he will advance our football program to the next level.”
During his 17 years as an assistant football coach for the Buckeyes, Conley coached tight ends, linebackers, defensive ends and special teams for head coaches Earle Bruce, John Cooper and Jim Tressel. The teams he coached included the 2002 National Champions, and others that earned berths in numerous bowl games including the Rose, Fiesta, Outback, Sugar, Citrus, Holiday, Hall of Fame and Cotton Bowls.
Conley gained national recognition as the Buckeyes’ recruiting coordinator in 1991-92 and from 1994 to 2004. Recognized by ESPN as the No. 1 college recruiter in the country, he consistently brought franchise players to Ohio State. He recruited Heisman Trophy winners Eddie George and Troy Smith, as well as Dan Wilkinson, Orlando Pace, Terry Glenn, Greg Bellisari, Andy Katzenmoyer, Chris Gamble, Nate Salley, Ashton Youboty and Mike Nugent. All-Americans and/or eventual NFL players Conley coached include Cris Carter, Thomas “Pepper” Johnson, Chris Spielman, Mike Vrable, Andy Groom, B.J. Sander, Ben Hartsock, Darnell Sanders and Nugent.
Conley is an OSU graduate, and played on three Big Ten championship teams including the 1968 National Championship team, under legendary head coach Woody Hayes. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from Ohio State, and a master’s degree in Administration from Wright State University.
Since retiring from Ohio State in the spring of 2004, Conley has served as a National Recruiting Analyst for ESPN and as a radio and television analyst and host for several Central Ohio stations. He is a highly sought motivational speaker.
“I am honored to be chosen to serve as the next head coach at Ohio Dominican University. Our goal is to not just put a winning team on the field, but to graduate young men who will be positive reflections of the mission and goals of this prestigious university,” said Conley.
Conley becomes head coach during an exciting time in ODU athletic program history. Currently affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Ohio Dominican is in its second year as a candidacy member of the NCAA, with full membership in the NCAA Division II expected in 2011. In June 2009, ODU was accepted as a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and will commence conference play effective August 2010. If accepted as a full NCAA member, ODU will be the only university in Central Ohio to be NCAA Division II.
“Bill Conley will play a pivotal role in moving our football program, athletic department and university into the national spotlight,” said ODU Athletic Director Bill Blazer. “We couldn’t be more excited to have him here.”
Conley takes the reins upon the departure of former ODU Football Head Coach Dale Carlson, who left the university last week to become the new head football coach at Valparaiso University. Carlson was hired in 2003 to launch ODU’s football program, and eventually led the Panthers to a Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League title and appearance in the Football Championship Series, and three straight seasons in the NAIA top 10.