The name Chris Conway is synonymous with the famed Gaelic Football nursery, Knockbeg College. As a pupil he was a decorated footballer and to the fore of his teams but his real impact has been since his return to the teaching staff in 2002. The school had decided to drop to the B competition at schools level. Conway had an immediate impact as a coach winning South Leinster, Leinster B league and Championships that year.
The school returned quickly to A level, and in 2003 he the led the College, with Fr. Dan Dunne, to u16 glory. With Mr John Rouse joining Chris at the helm, Knockbeg contested Leinster Senior finals in ’04 and ’05, famously winning the ’05 decider with a late free. That team continued to the All Ireland final against St Mary’s Galway and recorded a famous victory in Semple stadium to capture the prestigious Hogan Cup. The school continues to compete annually at A level, a remarkable achievement for a school of such a small student population. His eye for player development and retention ensures that no talent goes wasted and all players will get a chance to improve themselves. The school has contested a number of Leinster finals in recent years across the age grades and Chris himself was on the line alongside side Laois Ladies Footballer Ms Jane Moore for this year’s U14 Leinster football final against St Mels, Longford.
While the victories grab the headlines his best work may be in the sheer volume of young men who he has influenced and encouraged to fulfill their potential. The team sheets of the surrounding GAA clubs and inter-county squads are filled with past pupils. He has also shown a deep interest and encouragement to all aspects of the sporting life of the college and as an educator has touched the lives of thousands. His personal energy and drive has ensured the continuation of a strong culture within the school which will serve it well for decades to come.
At the Carlow GAA Annual Awards night in Mount Wolseley, Chris received an award in recognition of his huge contribution to Secondary Schools GAA.