Former Jayhawks Baseball, Football Player Conn Passes Away

Aug. 10, 2011

WICHITA, Kan. — Former Kansas baseball and football standout Robert Conn died peacefully on Aug. 6, 2011 after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), he was 77 years old. Conn was a member of the Jayhawk baseball team from 1954-56 and lettered in football in 1953 and 1954.

Conn played three years of baseball under legendary head coach Floyd Temple, helping the Jayhawks record a 14-5 overall record in 1956 when he served as a team captain. He played in the outfield for Temple, and batted .219 over three seasons, including .231 with eight stolen bases in 1955.

He also played running back for the Jayhawk football team for two years under head coaches J.V. Sikes and Chuck Mather.

Following his athletic career, he attended medical school and graduated Alpha Omega Alpha from KU in 1960. Following a path of internal medicine, he completed his internship at the New York Hospital and residency and cardiology fellowship at the University of Washington, where he served as Chief Resident.

Known for his contributions to academic medicine, he was Associate Professor at the University of Washington, Physician-in-Chief at Harborview Medical Center (Seattle, Wash.), First Professor and Chairman at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and Professor, Chairman, and Head Docent at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He contributed to or authored over 50 medical publications.

A native of Wichita, Kan., Conn graduated from Wichita East High School in 1952 as the class valedictorian.

He is survived by his wife, Rogene and three children, Lisa Mann (Phil, Sr.) of Prairie Village, Kan., Linda Miller (Jim) of Leawood, Kan., and Kevin Conn (Laura) of Coral Springs, Fla.