By: Nate Schneider
Mt. Pleasant AD Jim Conway one of the best in the business
High school sporting events in Michigan, or any state for that matter, do not take place without the tireless work of athletic directors.
One of the staple athletic directors in mid-Michigan is Jim Conway, who has served as AD at Mount Pleasant High School since 2001.
Conway has overseen the growth of the Oilers athletic department during his tenure, including over the last decade since Mount Pleasant became a key member of the Saginaw Valley League in 2001.
The job of an AD includes a plethora of day-to-day responsibilities to make sure all athletics at the school run in a smooth fashion, with which Conway has become a master in efficiency.
While every day brings a different set of challenges, Conway explains what goes into an average day at the office.
“It’s controlled chaos,” Conway said. “With travel schedules and at times busing issues, not only with Mount Pleasant but sometimes the visiting team. We all experience the same thing. And you’re always trying to stay organized for the after-school events. If it’s an outdoor event, you’re always looking at the weather. You’re always communicating with our coaches, who in turn are helping communicate with our parents. And with the schools and the officials involved, everything that surrounds athletics has to be organized well through communication.”
Conway is always gradually putting together team schedules for upcoming seasons as well, which is altered even within SVL play with new additions or subtractions to the league seemingly every year.
Prior to taking over at Mount Pleasant High School, Conway was the head baseball coach for seven years at his alma mater of Albion College after playing for the Britons in the 1980s.
He now oversees an athletic department that includes an Oilers baseball program with an illustrious history, including state championships in 2007 and 2014. Mount Pleasant softball coach Ted McIntyre is seventh in state history with 1,043 victories, while you can go through every athletic program at the school and name plenty of positives.
From adding a varsity hockey program almost 10 years ago to seeing the boys basketball team make a run to the Class A state semifinals in 2014, the list goes on and on as to what Conway has watched over in his 16 years as Mount Pleasant athletics director.
Joining the Saginaw Valley League was also a major boost for Oilers athletics as it has helped increase the competition level in most sports.
“The great part about the Saginaw Valley League is that every school has its niche,” Conway stated.
“We have a competitive sports program across the board. We all know it’s based on kids and the level of talent each school has. You’re always going to have better years when you have better athletes. But it’s been a very strong relationship with those schools. When we made some additions with the south schools, it’s taken a little more time to develop those relationships than I envisioned. It’s one big league and the natural proximity between schools doesn’t allow us to have the relationships with a Flint Powers that we do with a Midland or a Midland Dow. That only makes sense. But we’re building it little by little.”