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10 Things to Know About Will Conroy, the Husky Heartbeat

The UW assistant coach turned interim leader has been devoted to the program.

If it seems like Will Conroy has been around University of Washington basketball forever, well, no one disputes that.

On Thursday night at Oregon State, he stepped up and ran the show as the Husky head coach when COVID prevented Mike Hopkins from coming to work, and the team had a different, fun kind of vibe surrounding it as it beat the Beavers 82-72.

If Hopkins knows what's good for him, he better not stay in virus protocols long.

Conroy can relate to this team because he is responsible for recruiting most of it, and he has been in the basketball shoes of each and every one of them.  

He has crossed over many UW coaching regimes and someday he be entrusted with guiding this team all by himself. He has held just about every role in the program, both as player and coach.

Meantime, here are 10 things to know about Will Conroy, who we'll call the Husky heartbeat:

1) Walk-on

Conroy initially was a non-scholarship player from Garfield High School who joined Bob Bender's UW program in 2001-02, but quickly earned financial assistance. 

2) Gonzaga glory

Playing for a new coach in Lorenzo Romar, Conroy scored a career-high 32 against Gonzaga in Spokane.

3) An Oregonian

By being born in Portland 39 years ago, Conroy technically is an Oregon native.

4) Best friend

Conroy's bestie is Jamal Crawford, his one-time teammate at Rainier Beach High, where he started out before going to Garfield. Of course, he was watching the Oregon State game. 

5) Record-holder

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Conroy finished as the UW's all-time assist leader with 515.

6) Shooting guard

Conroy initially was very unhappy when Romar converted him into a playmaker, but later exceedingly grateful.

7) NBA player

Conroy played in 16 games in the NBA for the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves, and scored 7 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 16 assists.

8) Coach

Romar hired Conroy as a UW assistant coach and they worked together for two seasons before Hopkins retained him and they've coached together 5 seasons.

9) Ace recruiter

Conroy is largely responsible for bringing Terrell Brown, Daejon Davis, PJ Fuller and Emmitt Matthews Jr. into the program, with the first three qualifying as former Garfield players just like him.

10) Prodigal son

Conroy's pre-teenaged son, Will Jr., is a dazzling basketball player already and will be a 5-star recruit in roughly a half-dozen years. To insure future program success, the Huskies might consider installing Conroy as head coach before then. 

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