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All photos by: Cindy Rivas Alfaro

As assistant volleyball coach Jill Loiars and assistant tennis coach Giorgia Pozzan bike their way to the University of Houston every morning, they never would have thought that they would be able to live such intertwined lives together as coaches.

“I think the coaching lifestyle can be very hectic, very busy and you know, consuming for someone’s mind,” Pozzan said. “I think to get some extra time for us to ride together, be together, see each other in the hallway…If you ask a lot of other spouses of coaches, they probably would kill to have that much more time together.”

Loiars and Pozzan met at McNeese State University after LaSalle University had cut the volleyball program Loiars was working in. In fact, Loiars and Pozzan met after Loiars’ head coach forced her to go to a happy hour with all the female coaches at the time.

From then on, hangouts with all the female coaches turned into just the two of them showing up and ultimately, ending up together.

However, in December of 2021, Loiars’ head coach ended up leaving to become a head coach at the University of North Texas which meant Loiars had to either follow her to Texas or find another job. Once the head coach leaves at a university, everyone else leaves, too.

For once in her life, Loiars didn’t want to do what was best for her or her career. She wanted to stay with Pozzan.

“This is a situation where I was like, this is different, and I want to stay with her and I want to just figure out how can we be together and prioritize us over me just going to a different state for another job that’s mediocre,” Loiars said.

In the end, Loiars and Pozzan found themselves in a car on their way to New York since Loiars was offered a position at the University at Albany while Pozzan decided on her next steps. It was on their drive up that Pozzan got a call from the University of Houston offering her a position as the assistant coach of the tennis program.

“We talked about it for a long time. Because at least for a season or two or longer, we had to be apart and not just apart a couple of hours but a flight and then another flight (to see each other),” Pozzan said.

Loiars’ ultimate goal was to be with Pozzan so the moment they decided Pozzan was going to Houston, Loiars’ was contacting volleyball clubs, high schools and colleges all around Houston for job openings. Pozzan even went ahead and introduced herself and her now-wife to UH’s volleyball team when she had the chance.

In a moment of divine intervention or even faith, when Loiars visited Pozzan during spring break, she went ahead and met with UH’s head volleyball coach to talk about the volleyball culture at UAlbany and came out of that meeting with a future job prospect.

“(He said) I know a lot of people do things for love, some dumb things for love,” Loiars said. 

Many people talk about the hectic lives of student-athletes, but no one takes a second to think about the coaches who train these award-winning athletes. Pozzan and Loiars are glad they found each other amidst the constant traveling and abnormal hours that come with being a college coach.

Pozzan proposed to Loiars back in June of 2022. Loiars proposed back, because she thought it was only fair, in October of 2022. The pair married on December 30, 2023.

“What I like about Jill, one of my favorite things, is she definitely complements my personality in a way that helps me be better and helps me grow,” Pozzan said, “She’s someone that always sees the good in someone, always tries to help and even goes out of her way to help someone.”

For Loiars, she loves how well they balance each other. 

“She’s so selective about who she lets into her life and who she wants to spend time with or how much time she likes to spend,” Loiars said. “But I know that she wants to sit and talk to me forever and wouldn’t mind being with me just sitting and not even talking for the rest of our lives.”

As Loiars and Pozzan bike home to their two cats, they’re glad their lives managed to get as intertwined as they are.

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