DURHAM, N.C. -- Once a Blue Devil always a Blue Devil.
Becca Wilusz’s passion for Duke began long before her undergraduate career and it continues today. Currently, she serves as the athletic facilities, game operations and championships assistant; however, her career began as undergraduate student. Like many others, basketball and a mix of academic rigor and athletics played a major role in her decision to attend Duke. To her surprise, Wilusz’s collegiate selection would become more than just an academic endeavor, but would create an opportunity she calls, a “dream job.” “I never intended to stay here this long,” Wilusz’s says. “Duke just kept providing me with opportunities that there was no way I could turn them down.”
Although athletics was one of the driving forces that influencing Wilusz’s decision, little could prepare an undergraduate experience that would foster an inexplicable love for Duke and athletics. Like many other students, Wilusz made the decision to tent - a choice she solidified before she matriculated to Duke. “I knew I was going to tent before I even got here. It was actually a Christmas present the year before that, a tent,” Wilusz’s says.
After an undergraduate career of tenting, Wilusz returned to Duke to pursue her PhD while unintentionally growing her passion for Duke athletics. Wilusz joined the Graduate and Professional Student Council Basketball Committee as a way to meet people outside of her department. This opportunity soon allowed her to become a graduate usher for the basketball games. As an usher, Wilusz developed an appreciation and enjoyment for a different perspective of the athletic scene. “I was enjoying all of the planning and working the games just as much, if not more, as actually watching and going to the games,” Wilusz says.
As a student, Wilusz was able to use her academic experiences and implement them into her role as a student assistant. She was also able to equate her tasks as an assistant into a concept similar to many academics. “They were just really fun problems to solve and things to put together.”
Director of Athletic Facilities, Game Operations and Championships, Bob Weiseman, reiterates Wilusz’s uncanny ability to use her academic background in her favor. “She’s really good at reacting and solving problems,” Weiseman says. “Her mind is her greatest ability. She can work long hours and not get tired.”
Not only is Wilusz passionate about her work, she has made herself an integral piece of the community. “I often rely on her to think through problems and solutions. She’s incredibly intelligent and driven; when you put those things together it results in a high work output,” Weiseman says.
Wilusz’s overall goal is rooted in the philosophies of her grandfather, a former volunteer fireman and Coach David Cutcliffe; her goal is “to always do your best and to leave something better than you found it. Not saying that it was bad before, but to leave a place, a job, or a program better than you found it,” she says. She plans to do this by perfecting her craft to the best of her abilities.
“We worry about making sure everything runs smoothly together and doesn’t have a problem,” Wilusz says. “I try to find those little things that most other people wouldn’t notice and try to make a perfect game.”
Due to this desire to perfect the game, Weiseman expresses his belief that Wilusz can excel in the department. “The knowledge she gained in a few years working with us, she just gets it, she understands the college environment, and she understands the demands of the job.” According to Weiseman, it is not solely her skill or her academic abilities that have led to her success, but another important aspect. “You have to have a passion for what you do. You have to love it. You either have to love sports or love where you’re at. For Becca it’s both,” Weiseman says. “She loves Duke.”
Wilusz’s dedication to Duke athletics embodies the saying “Duke Basketball never stops,” except for her, the love for Duke never stops. Wilusz is truly, once a Blue Devil, always a Blue Devil.
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