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She graduated from Penn in 2023. Now, she’s the Quakers’ director of football operations.

Jordyn Hall cold-emailed all the departments in the football program seeking a work-study. She found a niche with equipment before classes began her freshman year and never left the program.

Jordyn Hall is Penn's director of football operations. She's been in the role since last spring — when she was a senior in college.
Jordyn Hall is Penn's director of football operations. She's been in the role since last spring — when she was a senior in college.Read moreHeather Khalifa / Staff Photographer

For most, the spring of senior year in college is a time to wind down and enjoy a bit of relaxation before plunging into the professional world.

Not for Jordyn Hall.

In March 2023, Hall — then a senior at Penn — received an offer to become the Quakers’ director of football operations, a position she started that month at age 22. After four years with the program in various equipment and administrative roles, Hall ascended to where she had — while still in college — with two full-time employees, two part-time employees, and a slew of interns working under her.

“They always say that jump from school to the working world is a bit of a transition, but I was doing that transition while I was still at school,” Hall, who’s now 23, said. “So I had to go to bed at 9 [p.m.] and I couldn’t be out with my friends because I had to get up and work practice and be up at 5 a.m. the next day.

“It was a wild time, for sure, but I think it set that foundation for how I can do my job now knowing that no matter what, if I could handle those two months, I can handle anything this job throws at me.”

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The way Hall likes to explain it: Imagine you have no idea how to cook, where the cookbook is, or where to start, but all of a sudden you’re tasked with making a soufflé. While the coaches handle everything on the field, Hall’s responsibilities involve everything off the field, including travel logistics, budget, and event planning.

“It could be something where, ‘Hey, Jordyn, I need this information.’ ‘Hey, Jordyn, my email doesn’t work.’ ‘Hey, Jordyn, how the heck do we build a new locker room facility?’ ‘OK, you’re project manager now,’” she said.

With Hall a little over a year into the job, Penn coach Ray Priore describes her as someone who does all the little things right and, importantly, anticipates what the team needs. Now, as she enters her second season in the position, Hall will continue in the role she spent her college career working toward.

Hall’s trajectory

Hall grew up in Colorado, the second-oldest of six in a family with five brothers. She was a three-sport athlete in high school and wanted to play volleyball in college, but shoulder injuries prevented her from reaching that goal.

So Hall turned toward academics and her love of history, which for most history majors means one of two professions: teaching or government. She opted for the latter and got accepted into Penn’s international relations program. But she wasn’t quite ready to give up sports just yet.

“[Sports] was something I was so ingrained in growing up that I was looking for a job and I thought, ‘You know, my brothers all played football. I grew up going to football games; NFL Sundays were a ritual in our house,’” Hall said. “Why not see if the team needs a work-study?”

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She cold-emailed all the departments of the team, and the one that got back to her — equipment — said: “Come to the first practice. Let’s see how you do, and we’ll go from there.” Hall earned herself the job after that first day, just after she’d moved into her freshman dorm, before classes started.

In her freshman year, Hall learned the ropes and manned the equipment room. But then COVID-19 hit, wiping out Penn’s 2020 season. By the time the 2021 season rolled around, she was the only member of the equipment staff from her freshman year left, and Hall was launched into a significant leadership role.

“I [was] teaching my boss how we ran things, helping the new interns being even more ingrained with the team until finally my senior year, my old boss used to joke that I would kind of run the place and he and I worked in tandem to run the equipment room, to run practice,” she said.

Hall also became the main ball spotter, handled all the travel arrangements, and managed all the interns. She was the “unofficial boss,” all while attending classes.

During her senior year, she realized that the nonstop travel of foreign service wasn’t a good fit for her, a self-described family and people person. In September, Hall still was unsure what her career might look like. Around that time, NFL scouts normally come around to practices, and, for the first time, she saw a female scout.

Afterward, the scout pulled Hall aside and asked, “Hey, did you know that you’re actually pretty good at this football thing? Have you ever thought about making it a career?” The thought hadn’t crossed her mind.

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They’ve been in contact ever since, and the scout was one of two people to put Hall’s name in as a recommendation for the NFL Women’s Forum, a conference before the scouting combine that serves as a networking opportunity for the approximately 40 people invited each year. The guests met with NFL general managers, head coaches, directors of operations, and others from across the league.

There, Hall came to understand just how big of a business, opportunity, and community football is. And she realized what her career was going to be.

“I walked away from the forum saying, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s where I want to be one day. I want to be in that room with all those people, a part of that community,’” she said. “And that kind of gave me my direction. I wanted to work in football.”

What the future holds

To get to her current position and to succeed there, Hall says her work ethic and her ability to work with others have been two major keys. Coming from a family with five brothers and having played baseball allowed her to not feel out of place being outnumbered.

“For most people, the biggest shocker at football practice is when coaches yell and when it’s ‘Hurry up, go, go, go, we’ve just got to get it done,’” Hall said. “It’s something I grew up with because guys don’t always want to hear the talk, and it’s more what can you get done, the action-oriented approach, vs. what you can say is going to get done. So growing up in the environment I did, I think it did prepare me with football. And it’s not intimidating to me to be one of the only females in the program.”

» READ MORE: NFL Women’s Forum ‘an empowering moment’ for Villanova’s Allison Haley

As one of the only women in the program, the concept of a brotherhood — which Penn preaches regularly — would seem to exclude Hall. But despite not being a guy, and despite not coaching or playing, Hall had a similar reckoning, like the career one in her senior year, during the team’s banquet her freshman year: She wants to be a part of that brotherhood.

Hall’s long-term goal is to reach the NFL. She’s unsure whether that would be as a general manager, a director of football operations, a scouting personnel director, or something else entirely. But if her experience at Penn has taught her anything, it’s that she likes being a decision-maker and a problem-solver.

“I think she’s trying to figure out what those next opportunities will be for her,” Priore said. “Whether she stays with us or wants to take this at the next level in the FBS level, as it may be the next step up that way, or maybe even opportunities doing similar positions at the NFL level. I think all of what she’s doing now definitely prepares her for the next steps down the line.”