ATLANTA — Sae Woon Jo, a nine-year Occidental Athletics employee who worked as the facilities coordinator, director of recreational and intramural sports, and the director of football operations during his tenure at Oxy, is headed to the NFL.
Jo, 34, landed a job as the scouting coordinator for the player personnel department with the Atlanta Falcons following a two-week internship with the team's front office in July. He'll oversee the logistics for all of the team's college scouts, serving as the "in-house" contact that provides support for the scouting staff, both on the road and at the Falcons facility in Flower Branch, Ga. On top of that, Jo will work with the director of player personnel and director of pro scouting on various projects.
"Occidental was my first job out of college in 2003 and it will always be a special place to me," Jo said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my career. I'm really looking forward to working for one of the premier professional sports organizations."
At Oxy, Jo was a Jack-of-all-trades and one of the busiest people on campus. Under his leadership, Oxy's fielded eight competitive club sports programs and a host of thriving seasonal intramural sports for the student body and staff to participate in. He also was a go-to in all things football operations and the motor behind many of the football program's inner-workings, including film, transportation and communication, both internally and externally. He helped coach Oxy to four SCIAC championships, three during the Andy Collins Era from 2004-06, and again in 2008.
Off of the football field, he helped provide the Oxy community with exciting athletic opportunities at varying competitive levels.
"Sae Woon rejuvenated Club Sports and intramurals and reached over 800 participants through his role. He also mastered the difficult role of generating revenue through rentals while rarely displacing students," Occidental athletic director Jaime Hoffman said. "We're grateful for the contributions he's made to Oxy athletics and we're very excited to follow him as her pursues this exciting new opportunity in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons."
Some of his Oxy peers are sad to see him go, but happy he's chasing an ambitious dream.
"We're really happy for Sae Woon and we wish him the best at the NFL level," said Oxy defensive coordinator Erik Johnson, who worked with Sae Woon since 2003. "He was a staple on our staff for nearly a decade and his energy, knowledge and skill set will be missed. … Plus he always knew the hot, local lunch spots."
Before coaching football, Jo was a quarterback at Crescenta Valley HS and later graduated from UC San Diego. He is in the process of moving to Atlanta with his wife, turning the page on a place he'll always be fond of.
"Christine and I developed a lot of lifelong relationships while we were at Occidental," Jo said. "We will miss all of our friends and family in Southern California, but we are very excited about moving to Atlanta and starting a new chapter on our lives."