Jimmy Conway To Be Feted In Special Ceremony
The former Pacific men's soccer coach will be honored in pregame ceremonies on Sun., Sept. 19, in the final of four testimonial matches honoring Conway's three decades of dedication to the Portland soccer community
FOREST GROVE – Former Pacific University head men’s soccer coach Jimmy Conway will be honored for his service to the University and his long service to the Oregon soccer community in a special ceremony prior to the Boxers’ Sept. 19 match against Whitman at Lincoln Park Stadium.
The ceremony is the final of four testimonial matches for Conway, who was recently diagnosed with trauma-induced dementia. During the ceremony, Conway will be presented with a citation honoring his work at Pacific and a framed jersey. Oregon State, the University of Portland and the Portland Timbers have also scheduled testimonial matches.
“Jimmy is a great friend and resource to me, both personally and professionally,” said Pacific head men’s soccer Jim Brazeau, who played under Conway at both Pacific and Oregon State and later coached with Conway with the Portland Timbers. “Jimmy helped establish Pacific soccer as a competitive program in the Northwest. He is largely responsible for building the strong foundation to allow the program to become what it is today.”
Conway served as Pacific head coach from 1983-1987, coming to Pacific after serving two seasons as an assistant coach for the Portland Timbers of the old North American Soccer League. In his five seasons, Conway compiled a 51-37-9 record and led the 1986 and 1987 teams to berths in the NAIA District II playoffs. Conway was named the 1985 Northwest Conference and NAIA District II Coach of the Year after leading the Boxers to second place in the NWC standings and a 13-5-2 record, then best in school history.
Conway’s 1986 team compiled 15 wins, a record that would stand until 1996, and scored a school record 61 goals. That team, and his 1987 squad, advanced to the NAIA District II championship match. In his five years, Conway coached 13 players to First Team All-Northwest Conference honors.
Conway left Pacific following the 1987 season to become to first head men’s soccer coach at Oregon State. In 11 seasons leading the Beavers, Conway compiled a 97-88-14 record and saw 16 of his players earn all-conference honors. Conway himself was named conference coach of the year two times. After Oregon State, Conway went on to spend six more seasons with the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer Leagues First Division, where he was an assistant coach alongside Brazeau.
While an outstanding college coach, Conway may have made his biggest impact as three decades as a youth coach to elite teams at the state and regional levels. He was director of coaching for the Oregon Youth Soccer Association for 28 years and has coached literally thousands of players, including three who have played in Major League Soccer.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Conway played five years with the famed Bohemian FC side before a 12-year career in England with both Fulham and Manchester City. He came to the United States in 1978 after his contract was sold to the Portland Timbers, where he finished his pro career. Conway appeared in 44 FA Cup and league cup matches and accumulated 20 caps with the Irish national team.
In addition to the match at Pacific, Conway will be honored with a special invitation-only on Wed., Aug. 25, at the Nike World Campus in Beaverton, and a testimonial on Thurs., Aug. 26, at 5 p.m. at PGE Park prior to the Portland Timbers’ match with Austin. The testimonial match will feature a team of Timbers’ alumni against the “Oregon Select XI,” comprised mainly of players previously coached by Conway.
The concept of a “testimonial match” has a long history in Europe and can be traced back to the days prior to player pension, where long-serving players were feted prior to retirement with a special game in which they were given the gate proceeds. In lieu of accepting the money himself, Conway has asked the proceeds from the testimonial matches be donated to the Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
For more on Jimmy Conway and the testimonial events, please visit www.jimmyconway.com