Even though freshman golfer Jacquie LeMarr doesn’t see herself making the rounds on the LPGA Tour after college, she has no plans to leave the world of sports behind.
Instead, she hopes to go into a career in sports media, as a sports writer or a sports information director.
“From an athlete’s perspective, I think it’s really interesting since you understand how important (the media) is,” LeMarr said.
LeMarr is involved with several on-campus organizations beyond her team, including the Bruin Athletic Council, volunteering with UCLA Athletics and the Delta Gamma sorority. Her many activities across campus are more chances for her to spread out her options beyond just being an athlete in the future.
She said she wants her college experience to go beyond just playing a sport. The opportunity to walk-on at UCLA has come with many benefits for the freshman, as she has chances to learn from UCLA Athletics not just about her sport, but about the sports information side as well.
“Yeah, a lot of the reasons I chose UCLA is because it’s in L.A., where there’s so many opportunities … and if you want to work in an athletic department or be an SID, UCLA’s the No. 1 athletic department. To start out here, it’s a dream come true,” LeMarr said.
Getting involved all over campus isn’t just about preparing for the future, though. LeMarr sees the college experience as an opportunity to take more advantage of what she has going on in the present.
“I think everyone should be involved in something other than school or their sport to keep them grounded, to make them appreciate how great everything we have is and to utilize all the resources,” LeMarr said.
Coach Carrie Forsyth noted that while golf is a major time commitment, players should do as much as they can to participate in other activities.
“Golf demands a lot of time, but I will say I encourage them to enjoy college, experience it and make new friends, thrive in their independence while learning that you can manage it all. You can be a great athlete, get good grades and have a social life and contribute. It’s all about time management,” Forsyth said.
UCLA Athletics hosts events for all athletes, LeMarr said, in which they bring in many former Bruins who have moved from sports in college to various pursuits in the business world.
“They’ve been student-athletes, and they have all these different careers. … It’s awesome to get to talk to them and get their advice and all that,” LeMarr said.
LeMarr said that these events have helped her expand her ideas about what she can do in life after college golf.
According to Ric Coy, an assistant director of student services, these programs are meant to help athletes look past their four years at UCLA and see what their futures could hold.
“We always say, ‘That athletic career is going to end one day,’ and they’re thankful they have that degree,” Coy said.
Forsyth works with an exceptionally small team where she can easily discuss her players’ futures one-on-one.
While some UCLA golfers do go on to play professionally, many choose to go into other fields. When they decide that, she said, coaches often help them on their way to seeking out other options.
“There’s so many doors and (college golf) is a great background to have. And for those that determine they don’t have a chance at going pro as they get further, we encourage them to start doing other things that are going to help them in their career.”
LeMarr said that her experience at UCLA as an athlete has allowed her to have a college experience in which she not only grows as an athlete, but also as a person socially and academically.
“I’ve always been very big on being well-rounded. … I wanted to have a lot of different components to me that shaped a lot of who I am, and I’m grateful to have those experiences. I appreciate a lot of things in life. I feel at home doing so many different things; it’s enhanced my experience,” LeMarr said.
Contact Coghlan at [email protected]