and Jaqueline Borzillo, Director of Women’s Lacrosse Operations, Marquette University
A conversation between Coach Meredith Black (MB) and Director of Women’s Lacrosse Operations, Jackie Borzillo (JB)
MB: Jackie, what exactly do you do?
JB: Well Meredith, I basically do everything. I do a lot of the “behind-the-scenes” work. My job covers, but is not limited to:
- Social Media Coordinator: Posting and engaging the community through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & our team’s website. I have to stay up with the times and it can be tiring.
- Travel and Logistics: Booking hotels, flights, buses, handling check-in upon arrival and sending out itineraries. Without me, the team doesn’t get there!
- Food: Pre-game meals, meals on the road and any other event we have (alumni events, team parties, etc.). Basically, I love food!
- Compliance: Submitting practice logs, recruiting evaluation logs, and special request forms to our Compliance staff. This is my least favorite job.
- Gear: Ordering, designing and distributing team apparel and equipment. Christmas in August!
- Away games: Schedule practice times and troubleshoot any issues.
- Referees: Scheduling, payments, booking travel and coordinating on site. Please make good calls for us!
- Recruiting: Set up and assist with on-campus visits. Help sell the school I love when recruits arrive!
- Office Work: Handle other needs for the program that arise; i.e. order Meredith’s lunch and clean her office.
MB: I think I need to give you a few more jobs. That doesn’t seem like enough!
JB: Do you recommend that other head coaches ask their administration for this position if they do not already have it?
MB: Good question and yes! You have only been here a few months and I already cannot live without you. Just writing out all that you do makes it apparent that our program really benefits from having a Director of Lacrosse Operations.
MB: Why did you come back to Marquette after getting a glimpse of freedom from me?
JB: I came back to Marquette because I love the school, the lacrosse program, and you (most of the time). First, I had the best possible experience at Marquette and felt so welcome in the athletic department as well as in the classroom. Second, I think that this program will always be more than just a team to me. It was so special to be a part of the initial class here at Marquette and have the chance to create a culture and leave a legacy, which meant so much to me. The fact that I can still contribute to the program that gave me so much is an amazing feeling. Lastly, I came back largely because of my connection with you. I felt like I had so much more to learn. I respect the way that you run your team and how you conduct yourself on the field and in business, and aspire to be like you. I’ve learned so much from you as a player and am excited to continue to learn in a different setting. When I had the opportunity to come back, I couldn’t pass it up.
MB: Aw, shucks!
JB: Did you really miss me that much after just 3 months of me being away?
MB: Yes, I was going through Jackie withdrawal. But seriously, I think having you back is going to be amazing for this program because you have been here since the start. You know me, you know this school, and you know this program. Also, there are a handful of recruiting responsibilities that you can do in accordance with the NCAA rules; so having you help sell our school will be amazing!
MB: I know you had an opportunity to be an assistant coach elsewhere, why did you pick this job over the assistant coaching job, besides the fact that it was at Marquette?
JB: I picked this position over assistant coaching positions because of the wide variety of opportunities this position held. I have been coaching my entire life and am very confident in my coaching abilities. When I was the team manager the summer going into my senior year, I caught a glimpse of all the off-field work that goes on in a Division I office. It was eye opening, because I had absolutely no clue what went into making a team successful. I think that this job will make me a more well-rounded and marketable coach I as move forward in my career.
MB: Since you know me pretty well, what do you think I expect from you in this role?
JB: Knowing your high expectations, you expect me to really take this role and set a standard of excellence. I would think that you expect me to do my job (obviously) in the office, but to take it further and use my lacrosse knowledge and help where I can. I know that I can’t give instruction on the field, but I feel like part of my job is to listen and observe what’s going on, and bring my thoughts and ideas to you.
MB: Let’s be real, can you bring anything beneficial to this program?
JB: Of course! I brought you four years of an amazing player, now I get to bring you my professional abilities! Seriously though, I bring a wide range of benefits to this position. I was a business major ad an undergrad so I think that will give me a leg up when dealing with most of the requirements of this job. I am outgoing and want to learn more about how to work in our field of college athletics and specifically lacrosse. I am also highly organized and think that I can help to keep the office running smoothly so that you and the assistant coaches can focus on coaching.
MB: Well that’s a great point because since you have arrived, my assistants and I have had much more time to focus on the coaching side of our job. It has been amazing having you help take care of some of the time-consuming office jobs that can take away from our on-field work.
JB: I know, I’m the best!
MB: Lets talk about goals. Do you have any for this position?
JB: My overarching goal for this position is to be a sponge. Being responsible for all the operations at a young age will make me a mature and valuable employee in my future jobs. I think that this pressure is a positive thing and will help me to develop a work style for the more corporate scene. I want to learn to take everything that is thrown at me in stride and learn to troubleshoot any issues that arise. The nature of operations and logistics is unpredictability and your ability to problem solve. Lastly, I want to ask as many questions as possible. I know you laugh at some of my silly questions (like, “is this gear cool enough?”), but I want to learn everything possible about coaching at the collegiate level.
MB: Once you move on and leave me, what legacy will you leave with this position?
JB: We will develop this position into a great learning opportunity and stepping-stone for those who want to become a head coach one day. Most that enter this profession have coached at some level and have an understanding of the game, but are not prepared for the office work.
MB: Besides coaching, do you think this job prepares you for any other job opportunities? (Not that you would ever want to do anything but coach).
JB: Yes, this job sets me up nicely for a variety of opportunities. I think that I could confidently coach anywhere after this and be comfortable to execute all that is asked of a Division I coach. I also think that if I decided coaching wasn’t for me that this job is a broad enough position with more of an office focus that would allow me to cross over to the business world. So basically, I can do whatever I want in life thanks to this job!