James Friel - Associate Director

Job Responsibilities

Student Personnel – Helfaer Tennis & Recreation Center and Rec Plex

  • Coordinate the overall management of all student personnel in all rec facilities. Recruit, hire, train, supervise, evaluate and schedule all part-time building student staff at the Rec Center and Rec Plex.
  • Coordinate the applications, interviews and evaluation process of Building Supervisor positions. Recruit, hire, train, supervise, and review the performance of Student Managers and Building Supervisors.  Assist with the training process of all new Building Supervisors and Student Managers.
  • Design and offer ongoing training and leadership development in accordance with NIRSA goals and the missions of the Division of Student Affairs and Marquette University.
  • Conduct ongoing training meetings and communicate with student staff on all issues regarding policies and procedures.
  • Establish and maintain job descriptions and policies and procedures for all student employees.
  • Work with the Assistant Directors and Rec Plex General Manager regarding operation and staff scheduling of recreation facilities.
  • Manage all building reporting systems on iPads and Google Forms. 
  • Manage Fusion software maintenance and updates - FUSION CHAMP!

Professional Staff

  • Coordinate the recruiting and hiring process for all professional and support staff positions.
  • Hire, train, supervise and evaluate Rec Sports Assistant Directors, Maintenance Services Supervisor, Administrative Assitant, Graduate Assistant.  Oversees the completion of all responsibilities related to these positions.
  • Prepare and process all personnel and payroll documentation and maintain required university employment records.
  • Serve on committees representing Recreational Sports including Leadership Development Committee, Assessment Committee, Olson Leadership Institute Planning Committee and COVID Education Group
  • Manage and administer the Recreational Sports Budget


  • BBA,General Management, UW-Whitewater, 2005
  • MS, Sport Administration, UW-La Crosse, 2007


  • Wisconsin Intramural Recreational Sports Association (WIRSA), State Director, 2015-2017
  • National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA), Member
  • Wisconsin Intramural Recreational Sports Association (WIRSA), Member
  • Certified in First Aid, CPR, AED


  • James was a Graduate Assistant at UW-La Crosse for the Recreational Sports Department from 2006-2008.
  • James was the Assistant Director at UW-Whitewater for the Office of Recreation Sports & Facilities from 2008-2018.
  • James has been the Associate Director of Recreational Sports at Marquette University since July, 2018.


  • James is married to Allison, who is an Occupational Therapist at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, and they have three daughters - twin girls Abigail and Clare, born in Feb 2016, and Emily Grace born in June 2021.
  • His favorite sports teams are the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks, Chelsea FC and the United States National Soccer Team.
  • Interests include officiating soccer, attending live sporting events and spending time with his family.