Greenville, SC – The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) inducted the NCCAA Hall of Fame Class of 2019 into the Hall of Fame yesterday with one of the Founding Fathers of SWU Athletics being honored as a representative. Dr. C Keith Connor, former director of athletics and professor emeritus of physical education, was recognized, becoming the first representative from Southern Wesleyan into the Hall of Fame.
"Dr. Connor is a legend at SWU!" said Director of Athletics Chris Williams. "He is the person who built the foundation which we stand on today within the athletics department. He embodies the true spirit of the Warrior…he has served, he has loved, he has challenged, and his faith has lifted he and this department forward after all these years. I am personally thankful for the years which I was able to work under him as a coach and now I am even more thankful for the support that he lends me during my time as the AD who is following in his footsteps. I am delighted to see the NCCAA honor Dr. Connor with this prestigious award."
In 1962, Dr. Keith Connor arrived at Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) as a combination high school senior and college freshman. Following military service in Korea, he returned to campus in 1969 as a full-time physical education instructor and director of athletics.
In 1970, Connor and Dr. Bob Nash introduced a proposal for the development of intercollegiate athletics. It was approved and the first game for SWU Athletics was a basketball game against Toccoa Falls College. From there, he continued to spur the athletics program onward with soccer joining the program in 1973. Since that time, the "Founding Father of Athletics" at SWU has guided the department to its present status, serving as the Director of Athletics for 37 years. During the formation, Dr. Connor led the Warriors into both the NCCAA and NAIA organizations.
During his tenure, Connor coached many of the university's teams and was instrumental in taking several teams to NCCAA and NAIA national tournaments. Connor first coached the men's soccer program starting in 1973. Knowing nothing of soccer, he spent all summer reading up on soccer and when the first game came around nine of the twelve players had never seen a soccer game before. Connor went on to continue his coaching career at Southern Wesleyan by coaching the women's basketball, women's volleyball, softball and baseball teams.
In 1992, Dr. Connor was honored by SWU Athletics with the naming Dr. C Keith Connor Field, home of Warriors baseball, being named for him. Dr. Connor was inducted into the SWU Athletics Hall of Fame in October of 2005 in the inaugural class.