Barbara Conner, the backbone of Bulloch Academy for nearly 30 years, was recently inducted to the Georgia Independent School Association Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Conner became only the second female to receive the association’s Distinguished Service Award last Wednesday night amid her family and peers at the organization’s annual meeting on St. Simons’ Island.
“Barbara is not only the backbone of Bulloch Academy but the heart of the school as well,” said BA assistant head of school and athletic director Chandler Dennard as he introduced her at the awards’ ceremony. “She is one of the most humble and unselfish people that I’ve ever met. She is always looking to help kids and serve other people. ”
Conner began her tenure at Bulloch in 1984. She has been the Assistant to the Headmaster, Athletic Director, Middle School Athletic Director, head of the science department and the head of the physical education department while coaching both varsity and middle school girls’ sports.
Well-respected as both a coach and an educator in the ranks of the GISA as well as locally, she is only the 70th member of the elusive club.
“I was very humbled,” Conner said. “I’ve looked up to a lot of the people who were inducted before me. I have coached with some, under some and against some. I was very humbled to receive this award.”
Conner has been involved in helping Bulloch Academy’s female student-athletes win 10 state track and field championships, finish as the state runner-up seven and capture 22 region titles. In softball, her teams won three region championships and made the state semifinals three times, finishing in the state runner-up spot once. Conner has been named state and region Coach of the Year in girls’ track and field numerous times and region Coach of the Year in softball five times.
Conner and her husband Dwayne recently formed the school’s first-ever shooting sports teams and heads both the archery and skeet shooting squads. The archery teams have won regional championships and advanced to the national tournament for the past three years.
The varsity skeet-shooting team was the state runner-up last fall. The Conners are the state-wide coordinators for the GISA-sanctioned program.
Originally from Georgetown, Illinois, Conner moved with her family to Statesboro in 1977. She is a 1979 graduate of Statesboro High School, where she was a standout track and field and basketball athlete. At one time, she held the school record in the girls’ discus, shot put and high jump.
Conner attended Georgia Southern College and graduated in 1984 with a masters’ degree in physical education and a minor in science. She also has her education administration certificate.
She and husband Dwayne have been married for 34 years and have three children; Ashley (26), James (25) and Seth (14). The family resides in Middleground.
Barbara has been a member of Bible Baptist Church since 1980. She was a member of the ‘Sounds of Glory’ gospel quartet, which includes her husband Dwayne and Donnie and Cindy McQuaig, for six years. She played both the mandolin and the guitar and sang alto. She currently sings in the Bible Baptist church choir. Conner is also an avid hunter and enjoys fishing.