Dream Big

Dream Big

New Athletic Director Julie Schroeder-Biek is having her cake, and eating it too. The ’88 alumna not only played volleyball (setting records), but she also had the opportunity to be an assistant volleyball coach during her senior year. With a total of 15 years of experience at Saint Mary’s, including as the head volleyball coach, her new position as athletic director puts her in a win-win situation. She’s still around coaches and student athletes, setting a great example. “I didn’t realize that I could go into athletic administration when I was young—there weren’t too many female role models in this area when I was in elementary school or even high school…otherwise, I’m sure that would have been my dream!”

Even with a dream fulfilled, Schroeder-Biek still has a special place in her heart for coaching. “What I will miss more than anything are the relationships formed between coaches and players,” says Schroeder-Biek. “I also love watching the friendships grow! These young women come in as strangers. Through the time that they spend training together, competing together and traveling to matches, they become a team. Seeing that bond form between teammates is more memorable to me than any win has ever been.”

Schroeder-Biek was a transfer student from a large Midwestern college, with just one year of eligibility to play volleyball. Still, she made the most of it, as the captain of the Saint Mary’s team, a member of both the All-State and All-Region Volleyball Teams, and setting records in blocking and attack percentage. Schroeder-Biek also maintained the academic side of her student career, graduating cum laude. The former psychology major says the best part of being a student at Saint Mary’s was the “wonderful, engaging faculty that interacted with us on a personal level.”

So what’s her game plan for success as a collegiate athlete? “I always tell student-athletes looking at attending Saint Mary’s to choose Saint Mary’s for fit—not for sport,” says Schroeder-Biek. “Does Saint Mary’s offer the tools you need to accomplish your academic goals? Is this the right size for you? Is Saint Mary’s a place that you can see yourself for the next four years? Athletics is icing on the cake!”