Lakeland College head softball coach Hailey Dreyer cares about her players. Just ask 2014 graduate Brittany Jurek, who was weighing career options one day last month when Dreyer nudged her into action.
“She said to me, ‘You are not just hanging around here,’ ” Brittany recalls. “She said, ‘You’re going to sit at this cubicle and fill out applications online.’ She’s an amazing person, and I’m so happy she was my coach.”
One of the many jobs Brittany applied for that day was a full-time softball assistant coaching position at the University of Northwestern Ohio. Despite having no graduate assistant coaching experience, she got the job.
Brittany, who graduated with a degree in sociology and played varsity tennis and softball at Lakeland, moved to Lima, Ohio, last weekend to launch her career.
“I have so many emotions,” she says. “It’s such an awesome opportunity. I’m nervous, but mostly I’m super excited.”
Brittany overcame her lack of coaching experience and impressed Northwestern Ohio head coach Tracy Coffman.
“Coach Coffman told Hailey, ‘To be honest, Brittany started at the bottom of the totem pole, but there was just something about her that made her shoot to the top,’ ” Brittany says.
Armed with her Lakeland education, Brittany navigated the potentially intimidating interview process. Her communication skills, outgoing demeanor and passion for softball and coaching shone through.
“Coach Coffman called me and said, ‘How’d you like to be my assistant?’” Brittany recalls. “I said, ‘absolutely!’”
Brittany says she was never an ultra-vocal leader on the court or field at Lakeland, but always felt she could motivate teammates.
“Being in sociology, I’m drawn to helping others,” she says. “When I was a senior, I found myself helping freshmen adjust, get into college mode.”
Now she’ll be helping young people for a living.
They say if you love your job enough, it will not seem like a job,” she says. “I have such passion for this, it won’t feel like a job.”