conley_carter headshot, many with dark hair and facial hair wearing grey Centre logo polo shirt

Carter Conley

Defensive Coordinator

Offices & Programs


A 2002 Centre graduate, Carter Conley has been coaching at Centre since 2003 and has served as the defensive coordinator for the Colonels since 2010.

The 2019 Colonel squad was "down" compared to the program's lofty standards, finishing 5-5 overall, but Conley still mentored five All-SAA selections and an All-Region honoree in Cal Lewellyn. He also saw Andre Evans threaten the team's record with 23 tackles against Rhodes (November 2).

In 2018, Conley was integral in helping the Colonels go 10-2 overall, capture a share of the SAA Championship and reach the NCAA Division III Playoffs. He helped mentor Lewellyn during his All-American junior campaign and had nine placed on All-SAA squads.

In 2017, Conley helped Centre go 9-1 overall and 6-1 in conference, finishing in the top two in the Southern Athletic Association in third-down defense, scoring defense, passing defense, and tackles for loss. The Colonels had seven All-SAA selections on defense, including two on the first team.

In his first year as defensive coordinator, the Centre defense led the conference in the categories of scoring defense and total defense. They allowed the fewest points and generated the conference sack leader (Kevin Harman’s 11). In 2011, the Centre defense ranked second in the conference, and the Colonels advanced to play Mount Union in the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. In his tenure with the Colonels as the linebacker coach, Conley coached two All-Americans (Matt Johnson ’08 and Adam Hay ’09).

He has mentored 44 all-conference performers in his time at Centre, including 2014 SAA Defensive Player of the Year Devon Freeman, 2014 SAA Newcomer of the Year Andrew Busby, and 2016 SAA Newcomer of the Year Cal Lewellyn. The defense has been ranked in the top five in the nation in takeaways twice, including a stretch of 49 straight games with a takeaway.

Conley is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), which is granted by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Conley has developed three NSCA Strength & Conditioning Football All-Americans since 2007, spanning all divisions of NCAA football, (Justin Roe ’06, Brian Coxon ’10, and Kent Crick 12).

Conley played professionally in Europe for five seasons following his career at Centre. A former all-conference linebacker and four-year starter at Centre, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and also holds a Master of Science degree in recreation and athletic administration from the athletic administration and coaching program at Western Kentucky University. He was also captain of the 2001 team that finished with an impressive 9-1 record and is the older brother of former Centre fullback Joe Conley (‘05).

He is married to Christina (Knox) Conley and has three children: Ella Jane, Patrick Carter Conley III “Colonel,” and Kathryn Rose.

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