By: Tannan Luzzo, guest writer
Glendora - Current Co-Assistant Athletic Director for Citrus College, Jackie Boxley, was inducted into the Cypress College Chargers Athletics Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony on March 30th, 2019. Boxley was one of 11 former student-athletes and coaches included in the Hall of Fame class of 2019 at Cypress.
Boxley is a jack-of-all-trades. She played basketball and softball for the Chargers, and her resume is filled with championships and awards both as a player and coach including her two-time All-Orange Empire Conference second-team softball and women's basketball selections.
In 1991, Boxley led her softball team to a state championship and subsequently won the State Tournament MVP. It's safe to say that her efforts on the field are deserving of Cypress Athletics Hall of Fame notoriety.
Boxley attributes her success as a player to the teams she was on and her former coaches. "Sometimes you're going to succeed and sometimes you're not. If you work as a team that is really cohesive and you work together, you can see what can really happen when that happens. Being a part of a program where there was so much guidance and all the love and everything that I needed made a big difference," Boxley said.
Winning the championship in 1991 with her softball team was her fondest memory while reflecting on her playing career at Cypress. "As a player my favorite part was winning the state championship...if you don't know how to win, it's hard to teach people how to win," Boxley said in a gratified manner. "I was a very average player and that weekend of the state tournament taught me how to crush it, overcome and overachieve. As a player there's nothing better than that."
As an assistant coach for the Chargers, Boxley won three consecutive conference championships for the softball team, further elongating her success on the diamond. Three-peat! After five years of being an assistant, she became the Interim Head Coach for the Cypress Chargers in 2001. She went on to win the Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year for her success in that role.
After a brief coaching stint with Gahr High School, Boxley took her talents to Glendora in 2003, and joined the Owls as the Head Coach of the Citrus College softball team.
It was on the campus at Citrus where Boxley defined her career as a coach and athletic director. She lead the Owls softball team to back-to-back Western State Conference Championships in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Boxley was able to secure the first conference title for the Owls in over two decades in addition to securing two record-breaking seasons in terms of total wins in a season in 2005 and 2007. In 2013, ironically, Boxley's team knocked off Cypress in the playoffs. Her 36-win, record breaking season in '07 earned her Southern California Coach of the Year honors.
"It was really fun. Meanwhile, everyone from Cypress is hugging me saying 'great job, but you suck," Boxley said with a smirk on her face.
Got wins? Jackie does.
At Citrus alone, she has won over 300 games for the Owls and is the all-time leader for career wins as a head coach of the softball team.
Her coaching prowess and ability to create a winning culture are what carried her to the heights she was able to go in terms of her coaching success. "I always tell my players when I'm recruiting that you're going to have a lot of fun but you're going to work really hard," Boxley said.
Jackie's favorite part about being involved with athletics at Citrus is the opportunities she gets to impact young adults, show them their worth and change lives. "As a player I was like just suck it up and lets play, let's do whatever it takes. As a coach you realize you can be really hard on them but then I'm that coach that turns around and tells them 'hey I love you' and let them know we're not hard on them for no reason, we're kicking them in the butt because we want them to do something," Boxley said.
While she may be one to impact others, she wouldn't go without mentioning someone who mentored her both in athletics and in life - Brad Pickler. She commends Pickler for all that he was able to do for her not just in sports but in life guidance as well.
"Without him I wouldn't be where I am today. Without him kicking me in the behind and making me focus I wouldn't have been able to do it. If I didn't have Brad kicking me in the butt from the time I was 14 to, well still honestly, I wouldn't have had the guidance from someone telling me that I could do it," Boxley emotionally said. Boxley added that she owes a lot of her success to Pickler's ability to light a fire underneath her to reach her goals in life.
Hard work, dedication and love are three words that can describe Boxley's philosophy as an athletic director. She enjoys every opportunity she gets to impact young lives and hopefully change them for the better with her magic touch.
"They are young kids, and some don't have great home lives and they've never been told they're good. So it's a matter of building up human beings too, and making them better players and stronger women," Boxley said.
She attempted each and every year to create a positive culture that's about who they are and focused on building each other up. "These are young human beings and they are going to make mistakes, they are going to screw up. I did the same thing, so we gotta teach them and we can get mad at them all we want, but that's not going to help them grow. Ultimately, being able to grow as a player helped me grow as a coach to be able to find a fine line between making them bust their butt and loving them at the same time," Boxley said.
Being an athletic director is something that Jackie relishes in. She gets the opportunity, now, to impact many more student-athletes across the entire athletics spectrum at Citrus. When she coached, obviously, she was somewhat limited on what student-athletes she saw, and of course they were mostly softball players. But now she has developed relationships and impacted those on every team at Citrus.
Her favorite part, so far, about being an athletic director is, "Being able to reach more athletes, before it was just softball players but now I get to be involved with all the athletes," Boxley said.
Boxley impacts the lives at Citrus every single day. "Without everybody at Cypress, I wouldn't be where I am today. And I want to do that here at Citrus," Boxley said.
Speaking of her impact, multiple students come back and visit her and tell her that they appreciate what she has done for them and how much they've grown from their experiences with Boxley. "Great feeling," Boxley said. "The kids that come back, all of that is the greatest and to see them succeed is the best."
Boxley has already thrived in her role as Assistant athletic Director. It's a warming feeling to know that Boxley puts building up the students first, and once they can do that, the success and wins are natural - at least in Jackie's case. "If I can help kids to get a good experience out of this and this be the best place for them, then I have succeeded. And I think that's a great feeling," Boxley said.
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