This month’s Meet the Maryland Hokie is Defender for the Women’s Soccer Team, Jordan Coburn.
Coach Chuggar describes her as reliable, consistent defender who has played in every match she was available for during her first three years. She has technical ability to play out of the back, to initiate the attack from the back line as well as the tenacity and athleticism to defend some of the best forwards in the nation.
What part of Maryland are you from?
Favorite thing to do in Maryland? Favorite place to visit?
I love going to O’s games in the summer with my friends. Camden Yards is beautiful, and I just love being in the city.
How did you first learn about Virginia Tech?
My club coach, who is also the head coach at Maryland, was friends with Chugger [Adair, Tech’s head coach] and started talking about me one day during a tournament. My club coach told me that Virginia Tech was interested, so I started researching it a little more. Tech wasn’t originally on my list of schools to pursue, so I’m very fortunate Chugger reached out to me.
Why did you chose Virginia Tech? Did you have a connection to VT prior to deciding?
My grandpa actually attended Virginia Tech for a few years, but transferred and received his degree from Duke. Other than that, I have had no family attend Virginia Tech.
What drew me to Tech the most was how beautiful the campus was. I completely fell in love as soon as I saw the Hokie stone and knew I wanted to go here. Everything else just kept falling into place. The girls on the team were so welcoming, as well as the coaches and other staff members. Not to mention, the athletic facilities were incredible, and I really liked how close everything was. To be honest, there wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like about Tech.
Who recruited you to Virginia Tech?
An interesting fact is that I was Chugger’s first recruit as a head coach!
What is your major, and why did you choose it?
I’m majoring in public relations, with minors in business leadership and marketing. As a freshman, I wanted to major in HNFE [human nutrition, foods and exercise], but after talking with a lot of girls on my team, communication seemed like a great path to take.
What is your greatest on-field sports memory?
My favorite memory was when Ashley Manning scored the first goal in the Final Four game against Florida State. I think it was about 20 minutes into the game, and the crowd went nuts. We had a ton of fans there, and I remember getting goose bumps thinking that moment wasn’t real.
How has being a student-athlete added to your experience at Tech?
One thing I’ve really enjoyed as a student-athlete at Virginia Tech is all the places I’ve been able to see during away trips. I’ve visited campuses that I would have never been able to see if it wasn’t for soccer, and I am so grateful for that.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to gain 30 new sisters during my time at Virginia Tech. I think the biggest advantage athletes have coming into their freshman year is 30 new friends as soon as they step foot on campus. It’s reassuring to know that you have a support system and can talk to them about anything.
How has being a student athlete prepared you for life after graduation?
I’ve learned so much as a student-athlete at Virginia Tech that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Looking back, I think I was a better student because I was a student-athlete. With traveling, practicing and lifting, we barely have any time to ourselves, and when we do have that time, we have no choice but to focus on school. I think another thing, too, is the “hard work mentality.” Anyone can say they’re a hard worker, but being a student-athlete takes it to another level.
Are there any other activities (clubs, student organizations, volunteer activities, etc.) in which you have been involved during your time at Virginia Tech? If so, tell us about them.
In the fall of my junior year, I was nominated as the women’s soccer representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed my time on SAAC, which is why, this year, I have a leadership position. It’s a great group of student-athletes, and I can’t wait to be their voice. I’m also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and this school year, I will be working for the athletic department as a marketing and promotions intern.
During my freshman and sophomore spring, I was a volunteer coach for the New River United Soccer Association. I would train 5-year-olds once a week for about 3o minutes, and then they would scrimmage against other teams. It was a really great experience, and I had a lot of fun with the kids!
Is there a particular faculty member, administrator, local citizen, etc. that you’ve had the good fortune to meet during your time at Virginia Tech who has really inspired or challenged you in some way? If so, who was that person and in what way have they made an impact on you?
Danny White has made the biggest impact on me since I’ve been at Virginia Tech. I took his Global Citizenship and Leadership course in the Dominican Republic last summer and learned so much from him. His passion for helping others and making a difference in this world is contagious. Danny is also a great resource for career development. He helped me with my resumé and asked me to speak in front of the Board of Visitors and during a senior staff meeting. Because of this, I reinforced my communication skills and became more comfortable speaking in front of people.
What are your plans after graduation? Do you think you will return to Maryland some day?
My dream job would be to work for Under Armour as a brand marketer. This past winter, I was fortunate enough to tour the company’s headquarters in Baltimore and completely fell in love. Sports have been a part of my life ever since I can remember, and I don’t think I’m ready to give that up just yet. Working in Maryland would be great, but if I had the opportunity to pursue a career in brand marketing out West, I think that would be really cool, too.
What do you do for fun when you have free time?
I spend most of my free time watching Netflix or napping. I know it sounds pretty pathetic, but I really enjoy my down time and just relaxing. When I feel like being more adventurous, I enjoy hiking around Blacksburg. I’ve already hiked the Cascades and McAfee’s Knob. I hope to hike Dragon’s Tooth soon.
What’s your favorite food?
Lemon grilled shrimp tacos from Cabo Fish Taco
Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it, and is there a story behind it?
I have a few nicknames. My family usually calls me “Jojo” or “Jojo Bean,” but when I’m at practice, everyone calls me “Jo.” It’s funny because my friends from home call me “Jor,” but on the first day of practice my freshman year, Chugger just decided to call me “Jo,” and it stuck.
What type of music do you listen to? Favorite artist?
I’ll listen to anything! One of my favorite genres is classic rock, but I also love rap and alternative. My favorite artist would have to be either Third Eye Blind or Fetty Wap.
Do you have any message for the Hokies living in Maryland?
Virginia Tech is truly a special place filled with very special people. Hokie Nation is the best fan base in the country, and you’ll see why as soon as you step on campus. If you get the chance, I highly encourage you to visit Blacksburg and see all the amazing things Tech has to offer. It’s my home away from home!