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Jane Alukonis: At Duke and Beyond

By Nicole Monsalve, Duke student communications assistant

DURHAM NC – NC – A It is often assumed that playing for a Division I Institutions like Duke often limit what an athlete can do off the field, but there are athletes like Jane Alukonis, class of '09, who are proof that college athletes at Duke are not. bound only to their sporting commitments during and after their four years.

A four-year starter under Duke head coach Robbie Church Alukonis started 76 of her 84 games with five goals and 11 assists for 21 points throughout her career. Its success did not stop there. As the captain of the senior team, she was selected to the All-ACC Academic Team and finished her career with the Blue Devils as an ACC Honor Roll selection four times and with the ACC Top Six for Service award for her volunteer efforts in Duke.

 Jane Alukonis "height =" 444 "src =" "style =" display: inline-block; "width =" 667 "/></p><p> Upon graduating with a BA in political science and sociology with a major in psychology, Alukonis was encouraged by one of her teammates to teach for three years as part of Teach for America in Baltimore City, where he affirms that his passion for teaching and coaching was born.</p><p> "At that time I didn't know I wanted to train, but I did it and I really think it was the best coaching segway I could have had because now I always think about it from the perspective of "What are players learning? How do I make things make sense for everyone? How can I also differentiate so that people get what they need? And then you have to be very organized or your classroom will become co. So I think this was the best way to prepare me to be a coach. "</p><p> In addition to Teach for America, Alukonis attributes much of her success to everything she experienced throughout her college career at Duke, including his 'motivated and passionate' teammates, encouragement from his coaching staff, and academic support.</p><p> "Duke was honestly amazing in setting us up for success, and now I realize what an impact Duke had on me "says Alukonis." Robbie is the coolest man on campus, the coolest coach I could have had. I spent some time after college working with Robbie, Erwin [van Bennekom] and Carla [Overbeck]. It was really cool learning from them. Robbie is the most loving, caring and amazing coach you can ever have. And then Erwin, who I felt brought the Duke mindset to football, was so organized, so edgy, and just an amazing coach. And then Carla, who is the most amazing leader you can imagine. It was amazing learning from her because she did all the little things behind the scenes that you just say, "Wow, that's what makes a great selfless leader." So learning from those three was huge and that was one of my first experiences in the world of coaching. "</p><p> <img

From an academic perspective, the four-year-old beginner remembers "go to support academic and just say "These are my dreams, can you help me achieve it? "And looking back, probably someone could have laughed at them, but TJ [Grams] said" Yeah, let's do it! "So, you have the support in terms of people helping you get there, Robbie too. I remember Robbie and Billy [Lesesne] called us up and said 'What do you need?' And just making sure we had everything that we possibly needed in terms of letters and academic support, going out into the community and just opening our eyes to other things was really cool. "

At an institution like Duke, it was clear to Alukonis that they were going to support her at all times: "If you say you want to do something, they will do everything possible to help you get there, and that is the coaching staff, they are your teammates. team, and that's academic support, the entire university. " A statement that became more evident when he began to achieve all the goals he ever dreamed of.

At the beginning of her coaching career, "she fell in love with coaching the youngsters" and coached a U16 and U10 women's team along with several soccer camps.

"Coaching youngsters is very different from coaching the older girls, so now in the morning I'm working with the world-class players and then at night I'm working with the youth and helping them develop and hopefully become great players too. It's more teaching with the younger ones and I love that, and it's great to see them fight and grow into strong young girls and really fall in love with the game. It's really very rewarding. "

Alukonis shares "I always thought I would die to be able to train at Duke or UCLA, that was always a big dream," and crazy enough, he now begins his third season on the UCLA coaching staff and has helped guide the Bruins to the NCAA quarter-finals in 2018 and the NCAA College Cup in 2019. She is now ready to begin her first season as an assistant coach with UCLA and has earned her UEFA B coaching license, which she is "very happy and proud of. from ".

 Jane Alukonis "height =" 444 "src =" images / 2021/1/17 / Alukonis_Jane_20180810_WSOC_TM87V9961.jpg "style =" display: inline-block; "width =" 667 "/></p><p> But Alukonis does not plan to end there." Someday I would love to train internationally, potentially with the United States and the United States youth national teams once everything is done. up and running again. I want to be the best coach that I can be and just keep loving the game. "I've always said, I don't care what level I'm training at. I love it, I'm having fun. I think the ultimate goal is to work at the highest level and with the best players, but always Connect and stay involved with youth soccer. Have a presence in both worlds ".</p><p> <strong> #GoDuke </strong></p></p></div>
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