University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 5, No. 1/1995
On the job... training

     It's said good things come to those who wait. Well, not true
for Darryl Conway, Delaware '93, who began his sports career the
day after college graduation as an athletic trainer for the
National Football League's New York Jets.
     "You know what they say, 'being at the right place at the
right time,'" says Conway. "One of the Jets' assistant trainers
took a head trainer's job with the Green Bay Packers. He left and
I came in."
     During the summer of 1993, Conway was the youngest trainer
in the NFL. While a student at Delaware, he honed his skills as a
summer assistant for the Jets from 1990-92.
     "I knew I didn't have the physical skills to play in the
NFL," explains Conway, who played high school football in his
hometown of Beltsville, Md., "but I didn't let that deter me from
my goal of being involved with an NFL team. I was at Art Monk's
football camp when I was in ninth grade and was impressed with
how fast the trainer (San Diego's Kecki Kamau) was able to tape
my ankles. I got to talking with Kecki and became interested in
the sports medicine end of football."
     Conway, who had an academic scholarship to attend the
University, graduated with a degree in physical
education/athletic training, a 3.9 grade point average and a
ranking of the top 100 of a graduating class of 4,000.
     "Spending those three summers with the Jets was the most
valuable experience I ever could have asked for," Conway says.
"There's just no better way to learn how to become an athletic
trainer than to be with a team every day-through minicamps,
training camps and during pre-season games. I learned a great
deal, and I'm really glad it turned into a full-time
     Jets' head trainer Bob Reese thinks Conway has a real future
in the NFL and in the field of sports medicine."He's a bright
young man who has a really good relationship with all the
players, which is important in this business," says Reese.
"Having spent three summers with us, he already knew how the
system works. We're glad he's part of our full-time health-care
     At Delaware, Conway served as head student trainer for the
football and baseball teams and helped establish computerized
weight-training records. He also interned at the '92 Senior Bowl,
a national, all-star college football game.Conway's duties are
numerous, but he says he most enjoys the challenges he faces
during a game.
     "On a game day, I'm involved in a number of areas," explains
Conway, who now lives on Long Island. "I'm in charge of
organizing all the supplies and seeing that everything is set up
properly on the field. If a player's injured, I'll take him to
the locker room for X-rays or treatment. I don't get the chance
to go out on the field when a player is injured, but I'm working
my way toward that.
     "What I've learned is how to develop my work habits and how
to present myself. In addition to the techniques you learn, you
must be organized and prepared for anything to happen.
     "There are a lot of little things that go into the
production of the games you see on Sunday. I use the analogy of a
play production. You practice all week and there's a number of
behind-the-scenes things that go on that bring you to the game on
Sunday afternoons."
     Conway's goal is to become a head trainer in the NFL. He
currently is finishing up his master's degree in physical
education at Hofstra University.
     In June, Conway and UD head trainer Keith Handling held a
summer camp on the campus for high school student trainers from
throughout the region. Students learned how to prevent athletic
injuries and how to evaluate and provide first aid when sports-
related injuries occur.
     "Darryl's been the driving force behind the camp," says
Handling. "He was able to obtain a Joe Montana autographed
football and other sports memorabilia that raised $9,400 at an
auction held in February, offsetting some of the costs of the
summer camp.
     "But, that's nothing new. I could tell when Darryl first
came into the program as a freshman that he was going to be
successful. He always took on a lot of responsibilities and was a
leader among the other students," Handling says.
                                               -Terry Conway