A new school year brings change with it. One new thing this year is Marist’s Coordinator of Intramural and Club Sports, Julie Byron. The position was previously held by John Louie, who accepted a position elsewhere this summer. Byron has now been at Marist for three months.
A graduate of Hartwick College, Byron played division three basketball for four years, and softball for two. Upon graduation, she realized she wanted to work in college athletics, which lead her to pursue a master’s degree from Springfield College. From there she worked for the MAAC, the conference that Marist competes in.
“I’m no stranger to Marist College,” said Byron. “I have worked with them for a long time.”
Originally from New York, Byron saw this job as a great opportunity to come back home, while continuing to work in a field she’s passionate about. Some other aspects of the job that excite her are getting back to work full time and working more directly with students. The mother of two girls, she continued freelancing within collegiate athletics while simultaneously raising her children.
But what she’s really excited about this year is getting to work more with the students at Marist. “When I was in the conference office, I always wanted to be more engaged with the actual students. The club sports and intramurals are all student-driven. And so far that has been the most enjoyable aspect of the job,” said Byron.
Ski team captain, senior Matt Pintea said Byron, “seems like she’s putting the students’ needs first.” Already, she’s making positive impressions on the students she’s working with.
Currently, she’s working on meeting with captains of the club teams and getting intramurals started for the season. Co-ed soccer, flag football, and outdoor basketball began last week. Basketball and volleyball will begin in October. Marist has many club sports, many of which Byron considers to be “traditional” sports, but there are also some more unusual ones.
“Rugby, skiing, men’s ice hockey, ultimate frisbee, Esports falls under my umbrella. So that’s been interesting to learn about what that whole world entails and how that club operates,” she said of some of her responsibilities. “I’ve really enjoyed working with different sports. It’s been a great adventure.”
When asked about what she wants to do with her position going forward, Byron mentioned her excitement about the new McCann Center. “I think it will really generate a lot of new opportunities at the intramural level.” Not only will the facilities be better for the students competing, but it will also be easier for their friends to watch and cheer them on. Byron’s office will also move into the new space once it’s up and running, which she believes will help make her more accessible to the students and their needs, a priority of hers.
Byron has an idea, if the interest exists, to host Sunday tournaments of Kan-Jam, corn-hole, or spikeball open to all students, in the new space.
“I’m open to new intramural ideas,” said Byron. “Right now I do think we’re kind of into the popular sports, but dodgeball, kan jam, spike ball, all those things I know of that have been cyclical in the past.” Hopefully, we’ll see more of them this year. Excited and passionate about her work, Byron’s off to a good start.
Edited by Dan Statile and Will Bjarnar