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Mercersburg’s First Female Athletics Director Reflects on Her Role

What initially drew you to Mercersburg?

The job. I was completing an internship at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL (doing gameday operations in the athletic department), and luckily, Mercersburg reached out to me via LinkedIn about an assistant athletic director position. I am so glad I was introduced to this beautiful place eight years ago. It’s truly a gem!

How does it feel to be Mercersburg Academy’s first female athletics director?

If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t even think about it that way. I had a ton of emotions, and still do, but very excited and very grateful are at the top of the list. Nervous, too! I am fortunate to be entrusted and empowered in this position and will do everything I can to represent Mercersburg Academy in the best possible way. Growing up, the only thing I really knew was sports. I was constantly surrounded by them, whether I was playing or watching. To be able to lead and service this department at such an incredible institution is very humbling.

What is your favorite part of the job and why?

Seeing our student-athletes develop over the course of a season, year, and career. It is fun to watch kids and teams excel, and see how far they’ve come at the end of each season. A huge credit goes to our coaches who see the value in our kids and push them to be the best they can be.

What is your favorite sport to coach and why? What is your favorite sport to play and why?

Oh, this is a tough one. If you had asked me in high school, I’d probably say hockey without question, as hockey always was my passion growing up, and it was the reason I pursued college athletics and ultimately chose to attend Union College. However, being able to play both hockey and softball in college made me realize I loved both sports equally. As far as coaching, I’d almost have to say both again, but a nod goes to softball strictly because of the past and current teams I’ve had here at Mercersburg and my awesome assistant coach, James Jenkins P ’26, and Kelsey Steiner, prior to Jenkins.

Did you play any sports growing up?

I played field hockey, ice hockey, and softball, continuing ice hockey and softball in college. My career started as a ballet dancer, figure skater, and American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) soccer player, but clearly those sports didn’t last very long. I have two older brothers who I wanted to be like, and wanted nothing to do with the color pink or leotards. My dad also played hockey and was really involved in the hockey community, so my mother unfortunately lost the battle to have a ballerina pretty quickly!

“Growing up, the only thing I really knew was sports.”
Lauren Jacobs, Director of Athletics

What are your recommendations for students who might be interested in similar positions?

To follow your dreams! I knew that having a career in athletics was my goal. It took a little while for me to get there. I was very close with Beth Tiffany, senior associate director of athletics at Union College, during my four years at Union. I loved how involved she was with both the women’s ice hockey and softball teams as an administrator, and I admired her for that. I essentially asked her how she ended up as an AD in the college ranks, and she explained her path. Essentially, I copied it! I went to graduate school and received my master’s in athletic administration. So, my recommendation is to make connections with people who can help you achieve
your goals–relationships are the root
of the best successes!

What are the priorities for Mercersburg’s athletics program in the next five years?

To make sure all our programs know they are valued and to continue to achieve excellence, on and off the field.

What would you like our alumni to know about the athletics program and any potential changes you would like to make?

One of the most important things for our alumni to know is that we are building on the foundation they formed. There is so much tradition between these walls, on our fields, and on our campus that it makes for a special job. One of the main goals is to educate and teach our student-athletes beyond Mercersburg through our athletic programs. My hope is that when our students graduate from Mercersburg, and when they reflect on their time in a Storm uniform, they have been impacted
in a positive way by their teammates, coaches, or a community member.

What are your thoughts on our new eagle mascot, Thunder?

I can roll with Thunder. Part of me is still hoping Stormy the Squirrel is going to make an appearance, but I think I know the answer to that. Maybe in my next lifetime!

What is something about you or your new role that you would like to share with readers?

I love Mercersburg, and I love the people and students I get to work with every day. I have said this since I stepped onto campus. We are so lucky to be at a place that is resourceful in so many different ways.

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