Jim Conroy, Two-Sport Star At USC, Dies

    Jim Conroy

    Oct. 5, 2011

    Jim Conroy, a two-sport letterman at USC who captained the 1957 football team and was a member of the 1958 College World Series champion baseball team, died Monday (Oct. 3) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He was 73.

    A service will be held on Oct. 21 at the Sacred Space at Beechwood National Cemetery of Canada (280 Beechwood Ave., Ottawa).

    Conroy lettered 3 seasons (1956-57-59) on the Trojan football team, playing fullback, quarterback, linebacker and punter.

    He was a quarterback in 1956, when he started the final 2 games and led USC to victories over rivals UCLA and Notre Dame. Known as a strong runner, he ran for 155 yards and passed for 147 yards that season.

    He moved to fullback in 1957, accounting for 162 yards on offense, 57 tackles and a team-best 8 deflections on defense and a team-leading 37.9 punting average. He sat out the 1958 football season and then had 270 rushing yards, 89 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns as a 1959 fullback (he also made 26 tackles that year). The 1956 and 1959 USC teams posted 8-2 records.

    As a pitcher on the 1958 Trojans, he had a 2-1 record with a 3.37 ERA in 9 appearances and also hit .429 in 7 at-bats.

    He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first American Football League draft in 1960, but instead played in the Canadian Football League for 9 years, starring as a linebacker with the Ottawa Rough Riders (1960-67) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1968). He played in 2 Grey Cups with Ottawa, including on the champion 1960 squad.

    After his playing days, he worked as a civil engineer and a municipal administrator and owned an auto parts recycler in Canada.

    He was born in Vancouver, then moved as a youngster to Southern California, where he attended Baldwin Park High.

    He is survived by his wife, Carol, daughters Jennifer, Joan and Julie, step-daughter Debby and three brothers.