Casey Taylor spent her Saturday working and looking out over 109,000 fans.
She spent her Saturday at the Illinois-Michigan football game at "The Big House" in one of the hospitality suites. Taylor, a Big Ten track and field star at Michigan and three-time Illinois prep triple jump champ, is an annual giving associate for the University of Michigan's athletic department.
"I love it," Taylor said, not meaning the Wolverines romp of the Fighting Illini. "You really get to meet alumni and donors and tell them about Michigan athletics.
"One thing that helps is the school sells itself."
While entertaining at a football game is fun, it is also part of her job to sell Michigan athletics.
"My goal one day is to become a Division I athletic director and this is a great way to start and learn about how everything runs," Taylor said. "We, like most schools, rely on donations from alumni and fans. We have a great product here and my job is to get people involved and most people want to be involved in Michigan athletics."
Taylor, a 2005 Marian grad, should know. She holds Michigan's women's indoor and outdoor triple jump records and also participated in sprint races. She has a degree in sports management from the Ann Arbor, Mich., school and a Master's in sports leadership from Northeastern University.
Taylor has an award named after her, the Casey E. Taylor Leadership Award, which she said was "a reflection of my leadership on the track team."
Taylor had a stellar career at Marian Catholic, where she also starred on a state-ranked basketball team and had some Division I offers for basketball. In track, she had never did the triple jump until her sophomore year, but she won her first Class AA triple jump crown that year and then did it two more times.
"That was a great time, at Marian," Taylor said. "I never thought I would win three titles and to think a girl from Chicago Heights would be able to attend Michigan on athletic scholarship."
It was at Marian where Taylor got the itch to become an athletic director. She admired Marian football coach and athletic director.
"Coach Mattio was my influence," Taylor said. "How he ran things and was in control and all the coaches coming to him. You saw how organized he was and I just thought that is what I would like to do."