If you’re looking to find Dave Ilaria ’03, TCNJ’s newly appointed director of athletic facilities, probably the last place you’ll want to look for him is in his office. Chances are he’s in Lions’ Stadium, getting it ready for the football team’s afternoon practice. Or he might be in the Soccer Complex, making preparations for that day’s men’s or women’s home game. Or possibly he’s in the Student Recreation Center, making sure everything is set for the night’s intramural competitions.
Ilaria’s new position, which he started in August, doesn’t allow him much time in the office, and that’s just fine with him.
“I’m not the type of person who wants to sit behind a desk for a 9–5 type job,” Ilaria said. “I’ve done that before and it’s not the life for me.”
Ilaria is responsible for coordinating the College’s athletic facilities around the practice and game schedules of the Lions’ 20 varsity teams, its large intramurals program, and special events such as Convocation and Commencement. Ilaria’s workdays can start as early as 6 a.m. and sometimes end near midnight, he said, and at times the job can seem like a 24-hour-a-day profession.
“It’s a hectic job,” Ilaria said. “Just ask any of the others who did it before me and they’ll tell you the same thing.”
Yet the feverish pace is part of the appeal Ilaria said, adding that he enjoys that on any given day he might need to be in multiple places across campus and have the opportunity to interact with numerous people.
“I get to deal with sports every day in my job, and as a former athlete, I like that,” he said. “And I love that I am involved with the athletics program here at TCNJ.”
Ilaria is no stranger to the athletics department at the College: he excelled as a wrestler for the Lions, capturing the NCAA Division III Championship at 133 pounds in 2003. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in communication studies, he attended Loras College, where he received a master’s in sports administration and served as an assistant wrestling coach.
Ilaria then returned to TCNJ, serving as a volunteer assistant coach for the Lions’ wrestling team from 2005 through last season.