For the love of the game

Amelia Wilson came to MU to make her football coaching dreams come true. The freshman is already on her way, tackling a student assistant job with the Mizzou football team.

a student working at a football game

March 8, 2022

Amelia Wilson grew up in a family of passionate football fans. But the real reason she came to the University of Missouri to take a job as student assistant on the Tigers’ sidelines runs deeper: for the love of the game and for the next generation of women in football.

“Football has always been part of my life, so to be able to be part of the Mizzou squad last season was truly incredible,” said Wilson, a parks and recreation major. “I’m so grateful to Coach Eliah Drinkwitz for giving me this opportunity to get my career started.”

Wilson’s experience with the MU football program touches on experiential learning, a key part of the RISE Initiative. It requires all College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) undergraduate students take part in at least one signature experience while on campus: research, international, service learning and experiential learning. Experiential learning offers students real-world education experiences outside of the classroom, through industry engagement, internship programs and learning laboratories.

Wilson followed in her father’s athletic footsteps, playing basketball for more than a decade. An injury playing that sport jumpstarted her desire to pursue football coaching.

“At the time of my injury, I started seeing women making inroads in coaching,” Wilson said. “Seeing those women really got me going. I knew I wanted to get into football coaching, and they really gave me that extra motivation.”

Wilson said seeing the behind-the-scenes work that the coaching staff does was enlightening and her interactions with the players was incredibly rewarding.

“They accepted me as one of their own, which was a big thing for me,” she said. “I didn’t know how they were going to react – but they were all so welcoming. It made the transition so easy.”

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