After five successful years as director of special events at US Lacrosse
, Beth Porreca has called an audible. On Tuesday, she was named USA Football’s
director of events; her first day on the job is Oct. 19. In her new role, Porreca aims to take the ball on the safety training and education provided by the Indianapolis-based organization and run with it. Having previously served as manager of events and logistics for the U.S. Olympic Committee
and sales manager at Disney Sports Attractions, Porreca is confident her background will help USA Football score more fans and make a bigger impact on the sport. She talked to us about her big move.
What drew you to USA Football?
I grew up in a football family; my father was a longtime high school coach outside of Philadelphia
. Having grown up around the sport, I can appreciate the value USA Football provides to coaches, parents, players and administrators through its programming, safety and educational initiatives. Through its events platform, USA Football has the ability to impact a huge number of people and allow them to access content in an easily consumable matter. I’m excited to be a part of that.
Is it tough to say goodbye to US Lacrosse after being there so many years? Walk us through your mindset.
US Lacrosse is a wonderful organization, and the last five years have afforded me an opportunity to grow professionally and personally. Knowing there are so many strong leaders in the organization made leaving easier. I know our events and sanctioning team are in great hands and will continue to run high-quality programs. Saying goodbye to our core events team was by far the most difficult part. Our team ran the FIL Men’s Lacrosse World Championships last year in Denver
and spent more than a month living and working together. That event created a bond among us that will be hard to break.
What do you bring to USA Football? What makes you a good match?
USA Football prides itself on having staff members who are creative, entrepreneurial and hard-working. Those are the same characteristics I try to emulate daily. I think my background working in both the nonprofit sport and for-profit sport sector fits nicely into their strategy for growth and development.
What do you see as top priorities for USA Football?
Overall, the No. 1 priority for USA Football is advancing the standards of education and safe play in the sport. USA Football is changing for the better how coaches are trained, athletes are taught, parents are informed and safety is addressed. In terms of priorities, that translates to ensuring that as the sport evolves, the NGB is providing resources to support consistent play, encourage participation and create lifelong participants and supporters of football.
What did you learn about USA Football during your interview process that you didn't know—and relatedly, what would others not know or be surprised to learn about the organization?
Few realize that USA Football trains more high school and youth coaches combined than any organization in the country; no other organization is delivering football-specific content to the football community with the same level of success. Additionally, football is a growing international sport. More than 70 countries on six continents have a national sport federation dedicated to American football. That number has grown significantly in the past 10 years and continues to grow.