When Jillian Hacker, ’18, started last July as outreach services coordinator at Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics in Indianapolis, little did she know her first day would hold a huge surprise.
Forté serves as the team physicians for the Indianapolis Colts, and before Ms. Hacker could get settled at her desk, she was offered the opportunity to be the first-ever athletic trainer for the Colts’ cheerleading squad.
“I was both shocked and elated,” said Ms. Hacker, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science at Ball State. “Forté knew of my athletic training background and felt I’d be the perfect fit to work with the Colts cheerleaders.”
Since taking on her position, Ms. Hacker has spent considerable time with the cheerleaders. Not only is she present for the squad’s two practices per week, but she is also a resource during Colts’ home games, arriving at Lucas Oil Stadium as early as 6 a.m. for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
“I’m always close by during the game,” she said. “And it’s just an incredible thrill for me to get to do this.”
As an athletic trainer for a high-performing team, Ms. Hacker also draws from her own experience as a student-athlete at Ball State, where she was a four-year letter winner on the gymnastics team.