It is 11 p.m. While most of us are getting ready for bed, Saint Joe’s star basketball forward Taylor Funk is looking to get in a late night workout. At this time of night, Taylor knows there is only one person dedicated enough to press pause on all other responsibilities, and help him improve his game. Young basketball manager and aspiring coach Jack Gilroy receives a text from Funk, and responds with no hesitation –  “gym in ten minutes”. Taylor claims the workout went late into the night, as Jack continues to rebound until two o’clock in the morning. When the last shot soars through the net, the two say their goodbyes, and prepare for class the next morning.

Photo by John Slusder

As an education major with a concentration in history, Jack believes being a basketball manager has provided him with the platform to develop the necessary characteristics of an educator. Through his work with the team, Jack has developed unmatched skills in observation and research, leading to a flexible teaching style  that fosters an environment conducive to growth. By observing the teams daily operations here, Jack internalizes many of the valuable coaching skills demonstrated by Phil Martelli and his crew. Although Jack’s passion for playing the game of basketball never fades, his true dream of becoming a coach is furthered by his managerial work with our team.  

Photo by John Slusder

However, the life of a manager is far from easy. Setting up before practice, rebounding, and post practice clean up are all apart of Jack’s job description. Consistently getting to practice thirty minutes early, and staying late for extra shots, Jack has built a truly close relationship with the players. He has taken on the self appointed role of a “player development coach”, which is just another example of how he goes above and beyond the expected work for managers. Jack studies film of the players, and builds customized workouts to improve every aspect of their game.

“I’ll watch the film on my own before I watch with them so I have an idea of what to expect”, Gilroy says. “The players provide input throughout the workout, and I take it all into consideration to provide the most effective training possible”

While there is no one specific moment that Jack considers his favorite in his time here, he did make one thing clear; he absolutely loves to see his training with players shine through in a high intensity game.  

“Whether that be a move, a shot, or whatever it is, there’s no better feeling than seeing the work pay off”, says Gilroy.

While his goals during his time here as Saint Joe’s basketball manager includes both learning and developing the game of players, Jack only has one ultimate goal in mind.

“Coach man…coach.”

Photo by John Slusder

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