A digital special section of | Subscribe

MariJo Kohler

MariJo Kohler

Football operations | New York Jets | Class of 2007

As professors go, no one had a more profound impact on MariJo Kohler ('07) than Ryan Gower, of the Recreation, Sport and Tourism department.

"Let’s just say he always held you accountable," says the New York Jets' manager of football administration.

“I remember a class I was supposed to take as a freshman that I somehow ended up taking as a senior in order to fulfill my graduation requirements. It was one of those elective classes that you show up to because you wanted to graduate.

"He would make one of my former Illini soccer teammates and I sit in the front row and would call on us frequently to answer questions and you would sit there cussing him out in your head because you knew you were the oldest student in the class and should know the basics, like where the library is located.

“I was always more prepared for his classes than others.”