Through three decades, the University of Mary Washington has been fortunate to call Dee Conway its head coach for softball.
On the softball field, her Eagles finished with 27 wins in 2006, just one shy of the school record, and defeated CAC rival Salisbury University for the third straight season. The Eagles also topped eventual NCAA Tournament team Lynchburg College on the road at the end of the regular season. In ’07, the Eagles raced to 24 wins and again topped Lynchburg as part of its 15-2 home field record, and won 25 games en route to an appearance in the CAC Championship and counted Salisbury, Virginia Wesleyan and Messiah among its wins in 2008. In 2009, the Eagles repeated with 25 wins in a repeat trip to the CAC title series.
UMW has picked up 20-win seasons more recently in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017, when UMW returned to the CAC Tournament championship final round. Conway surpassed the 500-victory plateau in March of 2017 as well.
The winningest coach in the history of the volleyball program at UMW as well as the only coach in the history of softball at the school, Conway led the Eagles to more than 400 victories in volleyball, with two NCAA Tournament appearances, and one Capital Athletic Conference title. Under her guidance, the Eagles recorded three 30-win seasons and three CAC regular season crowns. In softball, Conway has raised the program from scratch and taken it all the way to the NCAA Tournament. Along the way, she has won her own share of awards, including being named as the Capital Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year seven times.
Under Conway, UMW volleyball emerged as one of the top programs in the region in the 1990s. During the last decade, UMW tallied 227 wins, including 35 in 1991 when the Eagles advanced to the Sweet 16 at the NCAA Tournament. That season, the Eagles won the inaugural CAC Championship, and Conway was named the CAC and AVCA South Region Coach of the Year.
A native of Richmond, Conway was a very successful athlete in her own right, first at Ferrum College and then at Lynchburg College. At Ferrum, which was at the time a two-year school, Conway starred in basketball, volleyball, and softball, winning the outstanding sophomore athlete award. Her success continued at Lynchburg, where she was the starting point guard on the Hornets’ basketball team. She continued to earn her master’s degree in education at Lynchburg before accepting the head volleyball and softball coaching position at Mary Washington.
One of the most dedicated and prepared coaches anywhere, Conway is a positive role model both on and off the court. Aside from her duties as volleyball and softball coach, Conway is an associate professor in the department of health and physial education at UMW, and in 2017, joined the UMW Athletics leadership team. She was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance in 2018.