Jeff Stur knew he would have to have some creativity if he wanted to work in the sports marketing and media relations field.
He was in a management-training program with a Chicago bank when he applied for a media-relations position to the now-defunct Chicago Storm of the Major Indoor Soccer League, he didn't want his resume to get buried with a big stack of other resumes.
"I sent a soccer ball with my resume attached to it," Stur said. "I put on the ball, 'Let's get the ball rolling,' and then I called Bob Welch, who was the team president."
Stur said Welch told him he had a stack of resumes on his desk.
"I told him mine was the soccer ball and he asked, 'When can you come in for an interview?'" Stur said. "I guess you could say it got the ball rolling."
Stur's career has been rolling as he is now director of basketball operations for the Southern Mississippi women's program for coach Joye Lee-McNelis.
The 1998 Bishop Noll and 2002 Marquette University grad said he has taken what he learned from his previous jobs and uses them as he wears several hats.
"It is a little marketing, public relations and basketball operations," Stur said. "With travel, I set that up and it is from making sure we have a flight, to practice time, buses and meals. The players look to me and I have to have answers.
"The one thing I learned is to have a Plan B and Plan C. You have to be prepared in case Plan A doesn't doesn't work out."
On a Friday, Stur was still working at 8 p.m. after a day of kids camp. He had just finished an evening session that included a question-and-answer session with the Golden Eagles players. Long hours are no stranger to Stur as he has done that his entire career in sports. He is also pursuing a master's degree in sports management.
"It is a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun because it does get the word about our program out there," Stur said. "Coach Lee-McNelis told me about the long hours, but I really wanted to get into basketball operations. Working in sports does require long hours, but you don't mind it as much when you're doing what you love."
Stur worked for Edelman in Chicago, the world's largest public relations firm, managing the Office Depot Racing Team.
He also worked in media relations and was the director of communications for the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.
"At Edelman, if a client needed something at midnight, you got it for him," Stur said. "At Chicagoland, I coordinated with national and Chicago media as well as with sponsors and the racer's PR people."
At Noll, Stur, who grew up in Highland, then moved to Munster, played baseball and basketball. He said he thought about playing NCAA Division II or III sports, but chose the academic route.
"I actually talked with my dad my freshman year about transferring to a smaller school to continue playing sport, but I decided to stay at Marquette," Stur said. "If I was giving up playing, I knew I wanted to be involved in sports in some way."
He majored in public relations and minored in marketing. He also landed as an intern with the Milwaukee Wave and indoor soccer team.
"Minor league sports gave me a chance to do everything from public relations to sales to game operations," he said.
Stur did have time to laugh about graduating from a school and working for a school with the same nickname.
"Golden Eagles, and it is something I would have never thought of," Stur said. "It is funny, but I can tell you this -- both places have been good to me."