We celebrate the 45th year of Title IX by highlighting some empowering females in the Wolf Pack Athletic Department.
Because of Title IX: Jesse Zabal
Head Volleyball Coach, Loyola University New Orleans
Finish this sentence: "Because of Title IX, I …"
Because of Title IX, I was able to play collegiate level volleyball,which grew to a love of coaching and training young women in the sport.
How have athletic and academic opportunities afforded to you because of Title IX impacted your life?
The opportunities I had allowed me to seek personal growth in an organic, yet challenging way. I was pushed to my limit, both academically andathletically, but was constantly surrounded by strong female leaders thatsupported me along my journey. I was given the opportunity to learn aboutmyself, the world around me, and the ways in which I could someday make apositive impact. Being a student-athlete instilled a tenacity in me thatdrove me to pursue challenging experiences and persevere through them evenwhen seemingly impossible. Without these opportunities, I would not know thebalance of fear and courage that it takes to go after what I am called todo.
Tell us about a female (coach, professor, mentor, family member, etc.) who championed you in pursuing your athletic/academic/professional goals. How did her influence inspire or affect you and your career?
There are countless women leaders that I have encountered in my life thathave had such a tremendous impact on my life, but one that stands out is myolder sister, Johannah. She is incredibly intelligent and a talentedathlete. I started playing sports (any sport that she played) because ofher. Most didn't work out for me like they did for her, but I kept tryingbecause I saw the work she put in; I saw how through sports, she madeconnections with the people around her; and I saw that it made her an evenstronger woman than she already was. I wanted to be just like her, whatlittle sister doesn't? She continues to challenge me to be the best versionof me possible: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Johannahworked very hard to get to where she istoday, doing what she loves, whilealso still incorporating volleyball into her life, as a player and a coach.She continually inspires me with her spirit, her work ethic, and her dailyefforts to grow as an individual.
How are you continuing to champion the next generation of women and girls in sports, and raise awareness of the importance of Title IX?
Since I graduated from college, I took on the role of coaching volleyballat many different levels. Through that role, I have been able to connectwith and share my story with so many young women. If it wasn't for all ofthe opportunities I have had in the field of coaching, I would not be ableto send the message to so many young women that their hard work will payoff; that their voice matters; that they can be mentally, emotionally, andspiritually strong and it does not make them any less of an athlete; andthat the skills they learn through their sport will only make them more aptto be successful in whatever they choose to pursue. As I step into the roleas head volleyball coach at Loyola New Orleans, I hope to instill in theyoung women that I interact with a desire to know about & appreciate thewomen who came before them, what made them successful, and how to share thatwith the young women that they will encounter in their future.
If you could send an empowering tweet to every woman and girl across the country, what would you send?
Train like a girl. Compete like a girl. After all, that's what we are.
For more information on the history and current state of Title IX: https://youtu.be/Vx0714i-fDg
Please click the following link for more information regarding the "Because of Title IX…" initiative: http://bit.ly/2pLy33J