Before Jordyn Fields arrived in Austin two years ago to serve as Texas football’s assistant director of player personnel, she made a few pit stops.
Fields has lived everywhere, from Florida and Ohio to Michigan and Utah. She went to five different elementary schools and finished her last eight weeks of her senior year at a new high school. As the daughter of a nomadic college football coach, moving was her norm.
While Fields has followed her stepfather’s football path, she’s blazing a trail of her own as a Black woman working in sports.
“I think she is the first Black female to own a position of a staff member in the football department in the history of the school, which is unbelievable,” said Paul Haynes, Fields’ stepfather.
Unlike other women in the industry, Fields said she hasn’t had negative experiences. However, she said working in a male-dominated field does have its drawbacks.
“Sometimes people don’t know how to interact with me, and (when) they interact with me, they’re a different way than they interact with other people in the workplace,” Fields said.
It was when she was in college working at Kent State’s football office that Fields said she discovered her love for sports operations and recruiting. She took the Texas job after
Texas football chief of staff Fernando Lovo, whom she met at a Big 12 event several months earlier, called her one day about the opportunity.
“I was very, very fortunate, and I would even use the word ‘privileged’ because my dad is a coach in football, so that helped me to meet the right people, be in connection with the right people and have those right relationships,” Fields said. “I feel like I could be a really great resource for young women that are trying to come into sports, especially young Black women.”
Although Fields enjoyed the advantages of having a coach as a father, Haynes still made her aware of the challenges that could stand in her way.
“When she first told me she wanted to be a director of football ops or she wanted to be an AD, I was like, ‘That’s a man’s field position,’” Haynes said. “But even 10 years ago, nine years ago, women weren’t in that position. And now you see a lot of women in that position, and I think they are awesome.”
Make no mistake, Fields is more than “Coach Haynes’ daughter,” her stepfather said. Fields’ interpersonal skills, work ethic and intellect has set her apart throughout her career.
Football head coach Tom Herman said Fields is an invaluable member of Texas’ staff.
“She’s such a hard worker and so great with our players and parents,” Herman said in a statement. “Jordyn is a truly selfless individual; she works tirelessly and is ready and willing to take on any and every challenge that comes her way. We are so lucky to have her in our program.”
Fields brings a diverse perspective to the staff, Herman said. At Texas, where conversations surrounding racial injustice have become prevalent, Fields said she hasn’t used her voice as much as she could, although she does serve on a diversity and inclusion committee in the program.
Similarly, Fields said she is working to better do her part in advocating for women in sports, and she thinks visibility is the way forward.
“It’s so important to see female representation, to see Black female representation, to make it more normal,” Fields said.