Transitioning from the field to the front office, former Lehigh athletes are taking up new roles in Lehigh Athletics after their playing career ends.
After Taryn Gall, ‘99, Gina Lewandowski, ‘07, and Julie Ammary, ‘07, graduated from Lehigh, they returned to their alma mater to give back to the athletics department that once served them.
Ammary, a two-time first team All-Patriot League softball player, has worked at Lehigh since 2008 as the director for Athletics Leadership Development, where she operates through both the Deans of Students and Athletics offices to serve the community.
“The work I do here is important to me because it is directly aligned with my values and what I feel strongly about, which is helping people to learn and grow and ultimately to lead their lives and lead others in a way that makes a difference,” Ammary said.
Gall, Patriot League women’s swimming and diving Scholar Athlete of the Year during the 1998-1999 season, has worked for Lehigh Athletics since 2001 after graduating from Lehigh with a master’s degree in Environmental Science.
As of 2015, Gall has been the associate athletic director for Compliance and Administration. She is responsible for providing direction and support for student-athletes regarding eligibility and governing the operations of intercollegiate athletics.
Gall said she takes pride in helping athletes interpret and abide by the rules necessary to be a part of their teams and providing structure to the coaching staff so they know how to best support their athletes.
Gall said she has a special relationship with Lehigh, as she’s seen both sides of Lehigh’s athletic programs.
“Having been at Lehigh and having a great experience as a student-athlete, I love still being connected and being able to help others have that same experience,” Gall said.
Lewandowski, one of the most accomplished women’s soccer players in Lehigh history, returned to Lehigh last fall following her professional playing career.
Lewandowski played in Germany and made an appearance for the United States National Team. She is a four-time first team All-Patriot League honoree and scored a total of 36 goals and 80 points, the second most in program history.
Now the associate head coach for the Lehigh women’s soccer team, Lewandowski said she looks to offer support and be a role model for her players.
“I have always had a passion for giving back to the next generation,” Lewandowski said. “I use the knowledge and experiences that I have gained throughout my career to share and teach the game in a way that helps those individuals learn and grow on the field while also becoming better human beings off the field.”
Ammary, who grew up in the Lehigh Valley, said having the opportunity to play with an accomplished softball program was what initially drew her to Lehigh.
She said it is fulfilling to be able to give back to a place where she has connections, memories and roots.
“Lehigh is home for me in more ways than one,” Ammary said. “Ultimately, it was that belief in the mission and a desire to give back to a place where I grew a lot from.”
Lewandowski and Lauren Calabrese, ‘07, head coach for Lehigh women’s soccer, were teammates at Lehigh. Lewandowski said coaching with Calabrese was one of the major factors in Lewandowski’s return to Lehigh.
“I always had a connection with Lehigh, mainly because of Lauren (Calabrese),” Lewandowski said. “We always kept in touch and had aspirations to coach together at some point in our careers.”