In her playing days, Jackie Torda ruled the soccer field, finishing her soccer career as the sixth all-time scorer in TCU women's soccer history.
The former All-Mountain West selection posed in her senior year with a book in hand, beaming a smile for the TCU Read Campaign.
These days she is no longer wearing soccer pads or posing for photos. Instead, she wears a sensible pantsuit as she works for the university's athletic offices.
The former student athlete was hired last December as an assistant director of marketing for the university's athletics department. The standout soccer star who played at TCU from 2007 to 2010 said she used her experiences on and off the field to get to her current position.
After graduating with an undergraduate degree in strategic communication, Torda came back to the university to study education. While working as a graduate assistant in the marketing department, Torda earned a graduate degree in education and administration in December 2012. She was hired full time immediately after her graduation.
Torda works in promoting the school rather than playing for it. With her emphasis in women’s basketball, equestrian and tennis, her responsibilities include creating strong relationships between the university and the surrounding communities. She is also tasked with writing scripts for basketball games and working to maintain NCAA compliance standards.
“It’s a bunch of random things, and sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything and nothing at the same time,” she said. “When it all comes together at a game, everything flows, and it goes how it’s supposed to go. It’s rewarding.”
Torda has come a long way since her days as a student-athlete. Growing up in nearby Colleyville, she took up an interest in soccer with the help of her siblings.
Her older brother, Alex, played four years at the University of Dayton while her younger brother, Jeffrey, is currently a freshman playing soccer for the University of South Carolina.
“It’s kind of funny how we all ended up playing in college,” Torda said. “My mom and dad never really played soccer. It was just something [that] we got into as kids.”
At Nolan Catholic High School, Torda was a four-year letterwinner, a two-time member of the Fort Worth all-area team and in 2005, she earned Player of the Year honors by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Committing to the Horned Frogs in her junior year of high school, Torda went on to play all four years as a member of the university's women’s soccer team.
Her contributions both on and off the field continue to be well recognized, especially from athletic director Chris Del Conte.
“She’s very talented,” Del Conte said. “More importantly, she knows what it means to be a TCU student-athlete. She also knows how important it is to graduate from Texas Christian University, [she] loves this institution [and she] bleeds purple. You can’t have enough people like that.”
Torda said her experience with the department has also shown her a side of college athletics she can now appreciate in a new way.
“It has been completely eye opening," she said. "I wish every student athlete could see what goes into running a program. Just to learn all the stuff that marketing, compliance and athletics does, coaching you every day, recruiting, working on staying in compliance and a million other things you would never think of. They do so much.”
Torda said she hopes to continue assisting in building up the university as a member of the athletic department.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be here and to have learned so much of my time here,” she said. “I hope that I can continue to stay here and grow with the university because I think that there are a lot of good things ahead for TCU.”