Hendrix College baseball coach Sean McSheffery and Conway High School volleyball coach Laura Crow have been presented with the third annual Raymond Bright Awards for the 2018-19 school year.
The awards, sponsored by Centennial Bank, are presented each year to both a college coach and a high school coach in the City of Conway.
The award is named in honor of Raymond Bright, who was one of the most successful and revered coaches in Conway’s history and impacted many lives through his dedication.
A native of Hope, Bright served in the Navy during World War II.
He then graduated from Arkansas State Teachers College, now the University of Central Arkansas.
Bright began his coaching career at Conway Junior High School in 1949 then continued at Conway High coaching football and track from 1951 to 1958.
His Wampus Cats won two track and field state championship.
Bright moved across town to UCA to coach track from 1959 to 1965 and then football from 1965 to 1971.
His teams won multiple AIC titles in both sports.
Bright passed away in 2008 at age 85.
He is a member of the UCA Sports Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
In his first year as head coach at Hendrix, McSheffery led the Warriors to a 30-14 record and the Southern Athletic Association conference championship.
The 30 wins are the most in program history.
McSheffery was also named SAA Coach of the Year.
McSheffery said of the distinction, “I am very honored and grateful to receive this award. I cannot be more proud of our staff and the young men in our program. Our whole program bought into our Palm Down mentality, 36 guys willing to put their hand on top of 36 others and put the team first. I am so grateful for the Hendrix community and the city of Conway for their support.”
Crow serves as head volleyball coach Conway High.
In the fall, she led the Lady Cats to a 28-7-1 record and the 6A state championship. It was the program’s first state title since 1998.
“I am extremely honored to receive the Raymond Bright Coach of the Year Award,” Crow said. “I know coach Bright was a phenomenal coach who was loved and respected by his athletes and has left his legacy in the Conway community.
“This year, Conway volleyball finished winning the state championship, which was a phenomenal experience and a goal our program had for many years. I will cherish the memories of this special group of girls, parents, coaches and Conway community members that all support our program.
“I am extremely thankful and blessed to work with some of the best and it has taken a lot of hard work and dedication from our players to reach our goal. I am extremely proud of them for finding a way to make it happen and reach our goal this year.”
Coach Bright’s widow, Doretta Bright, will present the awards to each honoree.