New hires find family atmosphere in Wolf Pack athletic department


Camal Pertro, communications director, sits at his desk Photo credit: Ver Lumod

Brendan Heffernan

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It’s no secret that Loyola’s athletic department has had a great deal of success this past semester. With aNational tournament appearance from the Wolf Pack’s cross country team, record setting performances by Loyola’s swimmers and strong starts from both basketball programs, there’s a lot of smiling going on in the University Athletic Complex.

Two such smiles belong to the department’s two newest hires, Assistant Athletic Director Jordan Gabriel and Director of Athletic Communications Camal Petro.

Gabriel is no stranger to college sports. A former softball player and coach, she’s worked at several athletic departments in various capacities, most recently at Texas A&M-Texarkana, where she oversaw the program’s budget.

“All my previous jobs have put me in this position” said Gabriel, whose work centers around increasing athletic revenue. However, she says Loyola is unlike any place she’s worked before.

“It’s a family atmosphere,” she said, “Every department says they’re a family, but here it’s actually true. I brought my daughter to the office and everyone welcomed her with open arms.”

That atmosphere can also be seen in how the two new hires interact with each other. The two genuinely seem to enjoy each other’s company, sharing laughs over what they both agree is the Athletic Departments’ true secret to success: Google Calendar.

Unlike Gabriel, Petro’s last job wasn’t with another athletic department, he was a sports editor in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he covered high school and college athletics.

“As a sports editor, I was trying to get information from athletic departments,” he said. “Now I’m the one who has the information”.

Petros’ position’s primary function is “spreading the word of Loyola athletics”, and like Gabriel, he finds Loyola’s atmosphere a welcome change of pace.

“At my last job, I felt like I wasn’t supported. Here I have that support” said Petro.

As Loyola moves on to its spring semester, the two look forward to the challenges the new seasons will bring. The two credit the hard work of the Wolf Pack’s coaches and athletes with the department’s first semester success, but the positive energy in the USC offices can’t be doing anything but help.