Built by UCF: Jordan Pingel

Jordan Pingel enjoyed an historically successful run with the Knights from 2015-2018, on both an individual and team level. In her final season in 2018, as the only senior on the squad, Pingel led the Knights to a conference championship and an NCAA Tournament berth. Pingel solidified her legacy at UCF as she holds both the single-season and career digs record with 597 saves in her final season and 2,262 in her career.

We caught up with Pingel to discuss what she is up to now as well as what she remembers about her time in The Black and Gold.

What are you up to now?
Currently, I still live in Oviedo, Florida and I am supporting the Knights in any way I can! Career-wise, I am transitioning from working in corporate events to working in my true passion: sporting events. I have applied for many different positions all over the east half of the United States, so I am keeping my options open and my fingers crossed. Every morning starts with a CrossFit workout at Crossfit Country here in Oviedo where I've found another athletic family and community that I can't live without. Afternoons are filled with enjoying baseball games, cooking new meals, spending time at the beach, and hanging out with friends.
What is one of the most memorable moments you have had since leaving UCF?
Since leaving UCF, I've enjoyed the opportunities event management has given me to travel the country and see some really unique cities. Everywhere from the St. Louis Arch, to Rockefeller Center in New York City, to my favorite MLB stadium: Coors Field in Denver, Colorado (Go Rockies!). Of course, I traveled a lot while playing volleyball for UCF, but having a whole day to spend on my own seeing the sites is a whole different travel experience.

Pingel enjoying an MLB game at the home of the Colorado Rockies: Coors Field 
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced since leaving UCF?
The biggest challenge has been accepting that I am no longer a collegiate student athlete. Nothing makes you miss the sport you dedicated so much of your life to like seeing all the girls posting about media day, or the first preseason tournament, of beating Cincinnati in the conference tournament. I miss the team, the coaches, and the fanbase all the time!
What are your professional goals and how do you think you have made strides toward them?
My goal for my career path is to work within the community relations department for an MLB team. I wasn't sure exactly what part of sporting events I wanted to get into until recently, when I remembered how special it felt using my platform as an athlete to positively affect the community and its people. I want to help professional athletes do the same thing in their respective communities. I've applied for multiple jobs with MLB and NFL teams to get my foot in the door with sporting events and I plan to work up from there.
Why did you choose UCF?
I chose UCF because it immediately felt like a home away from home. Moving across the country for college is a scary thing, but the teammates, coaches, administration, and community were so supportive and welcomed me with open arms when I visited. Of course, the strong academics and beautiful campus were very important to my decision, but it was the volleyball program that made it clear to me that UCF was where I needed to be. I knew this team and these coaches would grow and shape me as not only an athlete, but also as a person. I also knew UCF was an up and coming athletics program and I wanted to be a part of its legacy.

What is your favorite athletic memory from UCF?
My favorite athletic memory from UCF was winning The American Conference Championship in 2018. Everything we had worked so hard for we finally accomplished together. It was even more special for me because I was the only senior. I felt like I left my mark on the program and knew that championship would be just the start for those girls.
Who influenced your athletic career at UCF and how?
There were so many people who influenced my athletic career at UCF, I couldn't name just one, but I would have to say all of my teammates impacted me the most. They became family and there's nothing I wouldn't do for my family. All the blood, sweat, and tears was worth it to compete and succeed alongside those girls. There's something about being on team of people all fighting for the same goal that makes all the sacrifices and hard work mean so much more.
What is the most valuable lesson you learned in your time at UCF?
I've grown up hearing the phrase: "You are who you surround yourself with.", but I never really gave much importance to it. College put that phrase into perspective for me because I learned who the people were that I wanted in my corner, who I could count on, and who I wanted in my life forever. I made some amazing friendships over the years that I know I will have for life.