Former Salukis find familiar home

By Gus Bode

For two former Saluki football players, the transition between playing and working might not be such a difficult task.

Jay Upthegrove, 23, and Patrick Jordan, 22 – both of whom graduated and now attend graduate school at SIU – currently find themselves trading in their uniforms for business attire. Their office, though, will remain the same.

Upthegrove, who began his graduate career in fall 2006 while playing football for SIU, was granted a graduate assistantship for athletic facilities in May 2007 – his primary duties will now include staffing athletic events instead of playing in them.


Upthegrove said his football experience only helped his ability to further his career with the SIU athletic program.

“I am really a different person since I came out of high school,” said Upthegrove. “Everything from my work ethic to the way I approach things has changed. Football taught me to pay attention to detail and to always finish what you start.”

Jordan, a senior from Germantown, Tenn. studying public relations and marketing, recently accepted an internship with Saluki Media Services in public relations for the SIU football and volleyball programs.

Jordan, who is in a slightly different boat than his former teammate, said his playing days with the football team gave him a work ethic to be proud of.

“My football career got me ready to come into the office with a good attitude and to get the job done,” he said.

Jason King, assistant athletic director of Intercollegiate Athletics at SIU, said past athletic experience tends to benefit students pursuing a degree in the field of athletics.

He said with the two positions open and Upthegrove and Jordan willing to further their careers with SIU, it was a no-brainer.


“They are obviously interested in sports, so it is logical for them to move into the athletic field,” King said. “Jay has a great knowledge of how we operate just based off the fact that he was here for four years.”

Jordan said he plans to pursue a degree in medical sales after graduation. Upthegrove said he remains uncertain as to what the future holds for his professional career, but said for now he enjoys operating in the facilities he once inhabited as a player.

Daily Egyptian writer Ashley McRaven can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 266 or [email protected].