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Jim Conley deserving of being Ram Legend


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By MARK MAYNARD The Independent For the past several years, Raceland High School has been honoring Ram Legends before the start of the high school football season.

That great tradition continues Saturday prior to the Rams opener against West Carter at 7:30 p.m.

Among the Raceland Legends to be honored is a head coach who had a 21-22-2 record in five seasons. That record hardly seems Hall of Fame worthy.

But a look behind the numbers reveals much more about Jim Conley, who was Raceland’s head coach from 1961 to 1965. Many credit Conley not only with saving Raceland’s football program but the school system itself.

“He changed the whole culture,” said Ron Reed, who was a senior end in Conley’s first season. “To be honest with you, it saved Raceland High School.”

Conley came into his first season with Raceland on the heels of back-to-back winless seasons in 1959 and 1960. The program was spiraling out of control and nobody cared.

“They changed the attitude of how things were going to be and set the tone for the future of Raceland,” Reed said.

That first season produced a single victory in a 1-7-1 campaign.

“We felt like instead of being a team that was going to lose, we might be outscored but we wouldnt be beaten,” said Reed, who was honorable mention All-State as a receiver that season.



MARK MAYNARD: Jim Conley deserving of being Ram Legend - The Independent Online: Opinion

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Interesting story that I wasn't aware of. Seems very deserving of this award. Sometimes coaching records don't tell the whole story.



I agree. Great story, and sounds like a well deserved honor. Congrats to Coach Conley.

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What else can you tell us about him @Ram? Do you know him very well?

I don't know him personally, but.............


The stories in this piece are accurate, Raceland administration was considering supending football because they felt the school couldn't be competitive with it's small size and recent records. There was talk of closing the school even. After Coach Conley convinced them to give him a chance at being competitive, Raceland Football became important to many people and the program started being competitive and even winning some. More players wanted to play. And, this is the most important part, the school began to flourish partly because of the interest in athletics. This shows how much of an impact athletics can have on a school. The school never closed and grew quickly.


Sidenote: Coach Conley's brother was the head recruited for Ohio State until recently, he is now the head coach at Ohio Dominican and has made it a quality D2 college program, spoke to him when he was recruiting my son, talked Raceland Football and Jim Conley with him for a while.

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