St. Charles native Marci Jobson inherited a scuffling Baylor women’s soccer program five seasons ago.
The Bears had just finished second-to-last in the Big 12 Conference, and some onlookers wondered why Jobson might leave a good thing after resuscitating the program at Northern Illinois.
At the time, Jobson held firm she had no regrets about embracing a new coaching challenge. With 11th-ranked Baylor now in the midst of its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, that sentiment isn’t about to change, especially given the time Jobson has invested.
“Sure, you always have dreams and goals of what your team can become, but it just takes so much work to get there,” said Jobson, the former Marci Miller. “It’s hard to look for five years down the road and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to be one of the top teams in the country.’ You just have to keep teaching lessons of life to our kids and hope they keep listening and take those in and apply them and really become those people. So far, that approach has worked.”
While instilling selflessness doesn’t substitute for conditioning, recruiting and Xs and Os, it’s just as much a part of Jobson’s approach at Baylor, a Christian institution in Waco, Texas.
Jobson finds the built-in spirituality on campus helps maintain the Bears’ positive aura. Winning hasn’t hurt either. Baylor enters today’s 3 p.m. NCAA second-round game against Georgetown in Chapel Hill, N.C., with a 18-1-4 overall record and a 19-match unbeaten streak.
Victories typically have been the norm for Jobson, who helped St. Charles High to IHSA state titles in 1992 and 1994 and a third-place finish in 1993. Her parents still live in St. Charles, while three of her seven siblings call the Tri-Cities or its surrounding areas home. A niece, Claire Rasmussen, is part of the Campton United program.
Jobson credits her father, Walter – “a pretty rockstar pediatrician” who recently retired from the practice – for promoting values such as education and hard work in his children from an early age. Each of the Miller siblings’ first names begins with “M,” a nod, perhaps, to the family’s moxie.
“I think I had such awesome memories from St. Charles and my dad,” Jobson said. “I proudly say he was such an unbelievable servant as a pediatrician in the St. Charles area and really instilled so much of his work ethic, his mentality and how he approaches his job into all eight of us.”
After excelling as a college midfielder at both Wisconsin and Southern Methodist, Jobson played for several leagues and organizations, including the U.S. women’s national team. She retired as a player after appearing in the 2007 Women’s World Cup, and was balancing her U.S. duties with coaching NIU.
Jobson met her husband, Paul, a Baylor associate head soccer coach, while playing for the Atlanta Beat of the WUSA professional league in the early 2000s. Paul Jobson worked in promotions and game-day operations for the club.
The Jobsons also coached together at Northern Illinois, and are confident they’re on the cusp of another breakthrough after wading through the tough times.
“I have some great girls with great character and strong work ethic, and I think at the end of the day, with hard work you can go anywhere,” Jobson said. “That’s the kind of team that we have. That’s what we’re all about.”
North’s Kirby all-conference, too: St. Charles North senior wide receiver Zach Kirby was mistakenly omitted from the Upstate Eight Conference River Division all-conference football team list, coach Mark Gould confirmed.
Waubonsie Valley officials, who handled the organization of the team that was announced earlier this week, acknowledged the error, Gould said.
Kirby capped his North Stars career by earning team highs in receptions (24), receiving yards (463) and touchdowns (four). Running back George Edlund, linebacker Reece Conroyd and defensive back Nick McCullough joined Edlund as North’s all-conference honorees.
• Kevin Druley is a sports writer for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.