Getting to know...Jennifer Dillenger
Assistant director of career services (and recent Wofford graduate) Jennifer Dillenger was only gone from Spartanburg, S.C., for one year, but oh how her life has changed since coming back.
For starters, she is married to Wofford assistant baseball coach Anthony Dillenger. The two didn’t meet at Wofford, though. In fact, they met at the ripe old age of 12.
“We grew up together,” she says. “I actually went home the day I met him and told my mom I had met the man I was going to marry. Twelve years later here we are. We were 12, so we played that ‘I hate you but I really like you’ game.”
It’s a game they still play when Duke and North Carolina go at it on the hardwood.
“We’re both avid college basketball fans,” says Dillenger. “I was raised a Tar Heel fan. Anthony was raised a Duke fan. We have a good time watching college sports, though. We watched all of the bowl games. And we keep up with major league baseball.”
They at least get to cheer for the same team in that sport. Both Braves fans, they have made many a trip down I-85 to watch their favorite team, hitting Six Flags Over Georgia to make it a weekend.
“It used to be I was the only one who would ride the rollercoasters,” she laughs. “I finally got him to do it, and now he’s the one begging for one more time through the line.”
The two married in September. They dated while Jennifer was a student at Wofford and Anthony was at Newberry College. At first Anthony wasn’t a huge fan of Wofford.
“I think the funniest thing about being married to Anthony is how much he hated Wofford when I was a student here,” says Jennifer. “He knew how much I loved it, but he said it was not his kind of school. Then three weeks after he graduated from Newberry, Coach (Todd) Interdonato asked Anthony if he would come on as the voluntary assistant. Anthony accepted and has since moved up. He absolutely loves Wofford now. He always jokes that we’ll be bringing our kids back and they’ll be wearing their Terrier uniforms at homecoming. It was quite a turnaround.”
Her career has had one, too. Upon graduation she immediately moved to Colorado Springs, Colo. She took a job there learning how to run a hotel. When she returned to Spartanburg this past spring, however, she found out the hotel she was being trained to run was no longer being built.
“It was definitely not a wasted year,” she says. “It was a great learning experience. I learned more about people in that year than I learned about hotels. And it wasn’t a shabby place to live, either. I’m already missing the snow and the skiing and the lack of humidity.”
Luckily the man who hired her was close to Scott Cochran, Wofford’s new director of career services.
“I’ve always been extremely passionate about Wofford and what our students are capable of achieving,” says Dillenger. “I came in and spoke with Scott, shared some of my ideas for career services, and he contacted me a couple of days later and said ‘We’d love to have you on board.’ I’ve been here about six months now.”
The Dillengers share a couple of other passions besides watching sports. One is playing golf.
“He’s trying to teach me how to do that,” laughs Jennifer. “I get a little impatient. I go out there and think I should be able to get par every time. I don’t, but it’s a lot of fun. You never know what the next trip or golf course is going to be.”
And that leads into another passion of theirs, which is traveling.
“I love to travel,” she says. “That’s one of the main reasons I moved to Colorado. Before I came back I was able to take a two-and-a-half week road trip throughout the western United States. I spent a semester abroad in Italy. Saw most of Europe. I never thought Anthony would want to travel, but he got bitten by the bug when I moved out to Colorado. On our honeymoon we went out of the country to Antigua, which is a small island nation near South America. Traveling is probably our favorite thing because we can do it together.”
And not cheer against each other’s teams.