Life After Lax: Kelsey Conway, Cincinnati Bengals Good Luck Charm

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

Kelsey Conway graduated from Cincinnati in 2014.


This article appears in the November edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join our momentum.

Kelsey Conway never meant to call Cincinnati home, but she’s done so twice in the last decade.

A Maryland native, Conway came to Cincinnati as a lacrosse recruit and budding journalist. A four-year starter for the Bearcats, she graduated in 2014 and headed for the NFL, working in digital media with the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons.

In 2021, through a connection with Cincinnati’s athletic communications staff, Conway got the chance to return to the city as a Bengals reporter for the Enquirer. The Bengals advanced to the Super Bowl in her first season covering the team.

How did you get into lacrosse?

I grew up outside Baltimore, where there’s just a ton of good lacrosse players. Ironically, the first team I remember playing on, we were green and yellow. We called ourselves the John Deere Tractors.

Why Cincy?

I didn’t originally look at UC. I knew that I wanted to get into sports broadcasting. I was a Ravens fan growing up. I used to just watch the Sunday night games. I saw the sideline reporter, and I was like, “I want to do that.” When I was looking at schools and being recruited, I wanted to go to a big school that had strong football and basketball programs.

After multiple visits to different places, I had no idea what to expect about Cincinnati. They were a newer program. I loved the assistant coaches and fell in love with the campus. At the time, Cincinnati football was awesome. Their basketball team was awesome, and their campus is amazing. The facilities for athletes are incredible. I knew right away I’d love Cincinnati.

How did you enjoy playing for Gina Oliver Thomas?

She totally changed the program. She made me so much better. She made everybody so much better. She wanted to win more than anything, and you always felt like even if she pushed you hard, it was coming from a place that was genuine.







How did you balance playing a college sport with starting your career?

While I was at UC, I got involved with the athletics department. At the time, there was a guy who was running the digital media department. There was GoBearcats.com for sports, and you could listen to the press conferences of [basketball coach] Mick Cronin at the time.

I worked as an intern for them for two years. I’d go to basketball games and edit and shoot the press conferences. I didn’t start out as a journalist. I did a lot of grunt work, but I knew it was going to be worth it.

By my senior year, they let me start doing interviews in front of the camera. My first interview was a swim meet, and it was horrendous, I’m sure.

How did you get into the NFL?

After I graduated, I was applying for any local news and sports broadcasting job I could find. I applied for an internship at the Ravens. I didn’t hear anything for months, and I started working for a sales team. That lasted three days because I got a call three days into it about interviewing for the Ravens internship. I got the job. It was the greatest thing to ever happen to my career.

After the internship, there was a job opening for the Atlanta Falcons as a full-time media producer. I worked for the Falcons on the team side, writing stories, doing podcasts, hosting video shows, doing some creative content on the video boards — everything that I wanted to do. I got to work a Super Bowl and won an NFC championship.

The Bengals made the Super Bowl in your first season covering them for the Enquirer. Are you a good luck charm?

I joke all the time, it has nothing to do with Joe Burrow and the guys. I showed up and the Bengals got to a Super Bowl. Clearly, it’s me.

How did lacrosse help you prepare for your career?

You have to learn a balance between being a good student and practicing, lifting and conditioning. You have to learn time management skills and bring that competition factor. I want to be the best sports reporter covering football. I want to be the best sports reporter in Cincinnati. That’s exactly what I wanted playing lacrosse. I wanted to be the best player on the team. I would do anything for us to win.

Do you pay attention to lacrosse today?

Oh, a lot. I was glued to the TV for both men and women for the final four this year. I was so happy to see the women get to be on ESPN. They were front and center so that everybody else could see how awesome the sport is.

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