Personnel Passions Project: Tyra Hildebrand

Tyra Hildebrand spends her days working with Teach For America students as Marquette’s program coordinator. But, in her spare time, Tyra can often be found getting her work out on the soccer field. While her main passion is raising her two girls (ages 6 and 9) to be caring, considerate, contributing members of society, Tyra also enjoys the break from her everyday routine that playing soccer affords her.

VIEW SOCCER SLIDESHOW (photos by Ben Smidt)

Tyra has been playing soccer since she was 7 years old. Her three older siblings also played the sport, along with her mother, who played on a team when she was growing up in the Bay Area of California. All in all, Tyra has played soccer for well over twenty years! In fact, she specifically chose to attend a Division III school so she could continue to play soccer competitively while in college.

Tyra now plays with the Women’s Soccer Club (WSC) in Milwaukee and has found some wonderful women to play with over the years.

According to Tyra, “Milwaukee is very fortunate to have this organization, as it allows women from all ability levels to participate on a team, year round.”

A Marquette University graduate, Ginny McCullough, founded the WSC in November 1999. The story has it that Ginny was looking for a space to relieve some stress and founded the club.  Her stress relieving club has grown significantly and now has over 2000 registered members.

Not only does Tyra gain personal and physical satisfaction from playing competitively, she has also enjoyed introducing her two young daughters to the sport. Tyra even coached her daughter’s team for two years. She is just thrilled that her daughters enjoy playing soccer and hope that they continue to enjoy the sport as much as she does.

This summer, these strong ladies all watched the Women’s World Cup together as a family. Tyra loved that her daughters were interested in watching the incredible skill and athleticism of the top women players in the world. Fortunately, both girls were able to participate this summer in Marquette’s soccer camp, and they hope to catch a few of the MU women’s games this fall.

While contemplating the greater significance of taking the time to play soccer, Tyra reflects that, “we have to take care of ourselves in order to be able to take care of others.  I think all too often parents do not take enough time to recharge our own batteries, which I find critical in order to effectively juggle the regular day to day responsibilities of my life.”

Even as a busy individual with work and family commitments, taking the time for herself, to nurture her mind and body, helps keep Tyra balanced and ready to tackle life’s challenges. Tyra also hopes that through her involvement in soccer sends a message to her children, that “even when people get older, they can still have fun participating in a sport and being part of a team.”

Thinking of taking up soccer?  Tyra would certainly encourage you to give it a shot. There are multiple leagues in the Milwaukee area, for both indoor and outdoor, and you can find a team that fits your level of play. Her advice: “Just go for it!  If you want a women’s team, just go to and get started, you just might enjoy it and meet some nice people along the way!”

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