MICDS grad, Jake Speller named Director of Football operations at Dayton


It’s cliche to say that most kids growing up dream of becoming professional athletes, but few who aren’t born with the natural gifts, stick with their dreams long enough to realize them. That is not the case for Jake Speller.

Speller, 23, grew up in Creve Coeur, where his family are members of  Congregation Shaare Emeth. Speller graduated from MICDS in 2017, where he began his trek to his current position.

“I knew I wanted to do something in football for as long as I can remember,” said Speller. “I started just doing stats for the MICDS 7th and 8th-grade teams, and then working as a manager for the high school teams each of my four years.”

Speller left MICDS to attend the University of Dayton where he worked with the football program all four years. Heis jobs included equipment manager, head video coordinator and assistant to the director of football operations for the University of Dayton’s football team.

“Around the middle of my sophomore year, I went looking for more responsibility and was soon assisting the DFO, Adam Szilagyi, who I consider a mentor,” said Speller. “When Szilagyi left Dayton for West Virginia in February of 2021, I was there to help the next DFO find his footing during the last few months before graduation.”

Learn more about Jake Speller

Speller graduated from Dayton in 2021 with a major in sport management and minors in both mathematics and business administration. He soon took his first job as the Head Video Coordinator for Southeast Missouri State from June 2021 to March 2022.

“I was lucky that I knew what I wanted to major in, and that I wanted to work with a football program when I was looking at colleges,” said Speller. “I got lucky with the University of Dayton in that they had both the degree I wanted (sport management) and a football program that is eager to use student workers.

Basically, the Director of Football operations (DFO) is in charge of almost everything that does not happen on the field.

“We assist in planning travel for the team for road games, including food, travel and lodging;l supervise our student video helpers making sure that games and practices are filmed; schedule meeting rooms for our coaches, as well as some other things, like handling normal office manager supplies,” said Speller. “Anything that doesn’t have to do with on-field coaching or active recruiting of players, it’s most likely something in which I have my hand in the pot.”