Longtime coach, AD Conroy leaving HHCA, Grunkemeyer takes AD post

In a span of two memorable decades, Kenny Conroy played numerous roles in building Hilton Head Christian Academy into a program of champions. Now, he’ll hand off the baton to an experienced and capable leader looking to keep the tradition going as the school’s new athletics director. 

HHCA announced Monday that boys basketball coach Jason Grunkemeyer will become the school’s new athletics director on June 1, replacing Conroy, who has accepted the same position at Savannah Country Day. The Eagles will also have to fill Conroy’s seat on the bench of the dynastic girls basketball program, which just won its fourth consecutive SCISA 2A title.

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Conroy will depart Hilton Head Christian Academy at the end of the school year after leading the Eagles to five state championships as coach of the girls’ basketball program including the current four-year run the next coach will inherit. He finished his tenure with an astonishing 363-83 record while serving as the school’s athletic director for the past decade. 

Conroy joined Hilton Head Christian Academy in 1996 as a golf and basketball volunteer coach before taking the athletic director and head coaching roles in 2011 after a stint as the AD at Hilton Head Prep. He cultivated a winning environment that reached unparalleled achievements and committed himself to develop the total student-athlete through superior coaching and mentorship. 

Conroy will head to Savannah to continue his career as athletic director at Savannah Country Day. 

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have been an HHCA Eagle for over two decades in various roles,” Conroy said. “For the past 10 years as an employee, my experience working among such admirable colleagues has been wonderful. There will always be a special place in my heart for Eagle Nation.”  

Grunkemeyer will pivot to his new role after initially joining HHCA in August as Director of Student-Athlete and Coach Development while also serving as the boys’ head basketball coach. He oversaw a multitude of Eagle teams and athletes during a crucial year as the school transitioned from its Hilton Head Island location to its new campus in Bluffton. 

Grunkemeyer possesses a wealth of experience at many levels, including 18 years in the NCAA Division I ranks. He served as the associate head men’s basketball coach at Ball State for eight seasons and helped lead the Cardinals to three Mid-American Conference West Division titles. His stops at the college level also include Saint Louis and alma mater Miami (Ohio) where he spent five years at both schools as an assistant coach. He was a key factor of the Red Hawks’ Sweet 16 run in the 1999 NCAA Tournament as a player and was named as a team captain prior to his senior year.  

A proven winner at every step with a trove of knowledge and a hunger for success, Grunkemeyer will inherit a program that has risen to the top of SCISA athletics as the Eagles prepare to jump to Class 3A for the first time in the 2022-23 season. 

“Hilton Head Christian Academy as a school and athletically is making great strides,” Grunkemeyer said. “I just want to help bring a different set of experiences I have had in my life to our school and help our kids and coaches strive to reach their potential.”

By Wes Kerr

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