06. Keith Connor
Keith Leroy Connor migrated with his parents to Great Britain in 1964. He went on to represent Great Britain as an athlete who mainly competed in the triple jump. Winning gold medals at the Commonwealth Games 1978 & 1982, European 1982 and bronze at the Los Angeles Olympics 1984. Connor attended the University of Texas at El Paso in the USA from 1978–80 and later transferred the Southern Methodist University where he competed with distinction in the US national collegiate.
He retired from active competition in 1984 due to injury and began an illustrious career as a coach and sports administrator. Connor was appointed head coach at the New South Wales Institute of Sport in 1990, after spending several years coaching on the American college scene following his retirement from competition. He was credited with helping Australian athletes to win medals at the Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney Olympics due to his work in revamping the New South Wales Institute of Sport. Following his successes at NSW Institute of Sport, Connor was given the appointed as head coach of Athletics Australia in 2001.
The Australian press has described him, admiringly, as a hard-nosed disciplinarian. Herb Elliott, chairman of an Australian Sports Commission review of the sport, said: “There is a view that he has moved the sport forward. “He’s had to take some very tough action. As a consequence, he’s rubbed a few people up the wrong way and some are against him… but he’s done an excellent job.” In 2006 Keith was turned down for the job of Head Coach to British Athletics Board although he was regarded by most as the best candidate. This was his second rejection by BAB the first being in 1990. Allegations of racism surrounded his rejection.
Since the expiration of his contract in 2006 Keith has been a Sport Consultant to national associations, sporting bodies, sponsors and individuals.