Byron Jones may be facing a handful of questions ahead of Dallas Cowboys training camp this summer, including where he fits in the team’s starting secondary, but there is one thing, or one person, the former UConn standout doesn’t have to worry about. He’s got a built-in personal support system in the form of long-time girlfriend Alicia Angelini.
The pair have been together for years, after first meeting in Storrs, and Angelini was on-hand when Jones heard his name called during the NFL Draft earlier this year. Here’s what you need to know about Angelini as well as her own dominant athletic career:
1. Angelini Played Field Hockey at UConn
Angelini made her athletic name as a four-year starter for the UConn field hockey team, starting all 88 games during the course of her career. During her time with the Huskies, Angelini helped lead the team to the NCAA Tournament four times, including a Final Four appearance as a junior. That same year she earned All-Big East second-team honors and was named to the New England High Performance Team and a BIG EAST All-Academic selection.
UConn field hockey coach Nancy Stevens described Angelini’s focus on the field, saying:
Alicia comes to the field every day with laser-like focus and the will to succeed. She is a winner in every sense of the word.
As a senior, Angelini was selected to play in the 2012 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Senior Game after being named a All-Big East first-team honoree.
2. She Grew Up in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania
Angelini’s field hockey career began in Pennsylvania, at Boiling Springs High School where she was a four-year letterwinner and team captain during her senior season. She racked up the honors throughout her high school career and was also named to the U.S. Field Hockey Futures Elite competiton in 2007 and 2008.
In addition to field hockey, Angelini was also a track and field standout, earning varsity letters in three seasons. She graduated from high school a semester early, with academic honors, in December 2008 and enrolled in UConn that spring. Angelini started in the midfield in four spring games for the Huskies in 2009.
3. Angelini Was Hired as an Assistant Coach at Quinnipiac in 2013
Shortly after she graduated from UConn, Angelini took on the next challenge of her field hockey career, joining the coaching staff at Quinnipiac as an assistant in August 2013. Bobcats head coach Beccan Main released a statement when the announcement went public:
We are very excited to bring in such an elite and high caliber person to fill the position. Alicia comes from one of the very best programs in the country and her BIG EAST Conference titles and trip to the NCAA Championships will lend itself well to a squad looking to ascend to new levels. Alicia stood out from our other candidates because of her tactical knowledge and fierce competitiveness and we are confident she will make an immediate impact in our team’s successes this season.
Angelini worked with Quinnipiac for one season and her impact on the midfield and defensive line was felt immediately. The Bobcats won the 2013 MAAC Championship.
4. Her Father is a Military Veteran
Angelni grew up in a tight knit family in Pennsylvania. She and sister were athletes from the get-go, playing soccer, track, field hockey and even gymnastics. The pair got their focus from their father, Franco, a military veteran who spent 25 years in law enforcement.
After retiring from the force, Franco opened a school to train police dogs, while Angelini’s mother, Judy, worked as a computer security consultant and field hockey coach. She traveled nearly six hours to see every one of her daughter’s games at UConn.
5. She Graduated With a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences
Angelini graduated from UConn in 2013 from the school’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences. Although she may have turned in her Huskies’ jersey, Angelini has remained close to the school and the athletic program.
She regularly attended Jones’ football games and was a frequent update on social media when she made the trek back to Storrs.