By: Jack Loennecker – Layout Editor
When Jordan Yuro of the William Paterson University ice hockey team is out on the ice he doesn’t have a captain’s letter on his jersey but he still has arguably the most important leadership role on the team.
Yuro, a 23-year-old junior, serves as club president for the Pioneers. But the hockey team isn’t like most of the sports teams at the university. Since the team started in 1973 it has been a club.
The hockey teams season depends on Yuro making the right decisions, “One wrong move and our season is over,” Yuro said. “One absence from a club council meeting and our season is over. I have 25 guys counting on me to get the job done. Some guy’s entire hockey careers are riding on my back.”
There’s a big difference between club teams like the hockey team and many of the other university sports teams. WPU sports teams like the basketball, baseball and football teams get more funding because they’re funded through the National Collegiate Athletic Association, while the hockey team is funded by the Student Government Association as a club sport.
“There are a lot of benefits of being a club sport,” Yuro said. “It’s even competition for us so every game is a competitive game against equal opponents.”
Being club president is a huge responsibility. Yuro’s duties as club president include helping balance the team’s budget distributed by the SGA, attending monthly meetings with the club sports council, booking hotels and buses for road trips, and setting up fundraising opportunities.
Yuro is only getting started in this leadership position. The marketing major from Howell is in his first year serving as the president of the hockey club. Last season he served as Vice President of the team under the club’s former president and now assistant coach, Kyle Garlasco.
Even though things get tough with such a big responsibility, Yuro looks at the positive things from experience as club president. “You know, it’s tough but it’s a real nice responsibility to have. It’s giving me a good leadership experience that will help me in the future when I begin my career,” Yuro said.
“Hockey is just like life. There will always be obstacles and there will always be someone better than you but you just got to give it your best in everything you do. I’ve learned a lot of important life lessons from hockey.”
Yuro will be serving as the president through the end of next season. He has an idea of who he thinks can take his place after he’s done, “I think freshman Thomas Bauer will take over for me. He’s a great kid with a good head on his shoulders,” Yuro said. “I can see him taking this team to new levels.”
WPU isn’t the final stop for Yuro and his passion for hockey. Yuro is hoping to make a career after he graduates but looks to continue to make time for the game he loves. “Even though I’m a marketing major I definitely want to try to work in the sales field, I feel like it’s one of my strong suits and outside of work I would like to coach one day, and give back to the game that has given me so much,” Yuro said.
Growing up in central New Jersey, Yuro started playing hockey when he was five-years-old and his favorite hockey team is the New Jersey Devils. Yuro’s favorite player was former Devils center Vern Fiddler who was recently traded to the Nashville Predators. “He’s just a hardnosed hockey player. I guess I see a lot of similarities in our playing style,” Yuro said.
With hockey season ending Yuro will soon begin his last year serving as club president. So far Yuro has done an excellent job for the club has earned the praise of head coach Joe Ballance.
“He makes the coach’s job easier and helps ensure all is in order for the program,” Ballance said.