Taylor Cockerille is no stranger to sports. In fact, she enjoyed a remarkable high school and collegiate track and field career. Since college, she has gone on to work or intern in professional football and professional baseball. We spoke with Cockerille about her career, experiences and her recent naming of Assistant General Manager of the Burlington Royals.
Cockerille had an exceptional high school career in track and field that included a discus state record, discus state champion and All-State honors for shot. The accolades continued at the University of Mary Washington, where she was a three-time Capital Athletic Conference champion. Her competitiveness and experiences as a high school and collegiate athlete served as a solid foundation for her career in sports.
“Especially in Minor League Baseball, it’s such a team feel. Definitely learning to be a good teammate, as well as the competitiveness. In terms of sales and being able to reach out. You’re so used to playing in front of people. When you go out in the community and do different things, you take that personality out there with you. I’ve always been an extrovert. The transition was so much easier for me.”
Previous experiences can often be used as learning opportunities to influence a person in the future. Cockerille has taken advantage of opportunities in the NFL, independent and professional baseball to help piece together the puzzle.
“They’ve shown me what has worked and what hasn’t worked. I’ve worked from Independent League baseball all the way to interning in professional football. I’ve tried to take advantage of as many different opportunities as possible. In college, I worked alongside our Sports Information Director kind of doing everything. Then I went to collegiate baseball, independent baseball and then the NFL. I learned bits and pieces here and there and I put it all together. Now that I can help paint the bigger picture, I can see how the pieces fit so well.”
Many people face obstacles or hurdles in pursuit of a successful career. It’s not the challenges that define a person, but how they overcome them. Cockerille focused on her goal of working in the sports world and using the resources that she had to get there.
“The most challenging was graduation and trying to enter the sports world. It was not having the money or the resources to go to the Winter Meetings every year and move to take a position in California. I had to use the resources I had. That’s how I ended up in Ohio. That’s been the biggest challenge so far.”
A Virginia native, Cockerille spent last season with the Potomac Nationals which were close to her family. However, the opportunity to become the Burlington Royals AGM presented itself. She chose to join GM Mike Morrison as two fresh faces to bring new energy and excitement to the team.
“I’m extremely excited about the position. Mike Morrison was named General Manager a month or so before I was named AGM. Mikey has worked for a couple of different organizations. He grew up around Burlington. He has so much knowledge of here. We’re in the planning phases now for the 2018 season. We have a lot of things that are unfolding. It’s such a rewarding thing. It’s going to bring so much excitement, so much energy. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the area. It feels just like home.”
Whether you’re currently working in professional baseball or aspire to be, Cockerille gives advice on how to seize the opportunity.
“Try to take every opportunity. I had the opportunity to stay with Potomac. It was 15 minutes from where I was living. It’s home for me. It was right down the street from where I competed in high school track meets, but I decided to come down here. It was the opportunity to do something different and to be a part of something away from home.
If you’re a homebody and want to stay close to your family and you have a team or organization close by, jump into the opportunity. I would not leave the GM of the P-Nats alone until he gave me an interview. I think that helps a lot.
Network and try to meet as many people as you can. I’ve met so many people along the way. You never know who people know. They can help you along your journey.”