Although Jake and Kathy never dated while on campus – they actually only had one official date before getting engaged – they attribute their love story to their times as Bears.
Jake was a Baseball Bear who often missed their mutual dance class due to travel, and Kathy struck up a friendship with him and took notes for him during a performance he missed.
When Jake competed in the College World Series, Kathy was completing an internship in Washington, D.C. She remembers placing a picture of Jake playing in the tournament in her internship scrapbook with a caption that said “I had dance (class) with him!” It all grew from there.
They began to run in the same social circles, and quickly became the best of friends.
“He would make me come over early to pick out his outfit before people showed up to hang out,” she said with a laugh. “He’s going to be so mad that I just said that!”
After Kathy graduated with a bachelor’s in entertainment management in December 2005, she moved to Alabama to pursue a graduate degree. While there, their relationship grew stronger through hours on the phone and Internet chats.
Jake graduated in December 2006 with a bachelor’s in criminology and settled in St. Louis, where he now serves as the sports marketing coordinator at Rawlings Sporting Goods.
“After a wedding weekend together and a Cardinals versus Cubs weekend in Chicago, we both knew we couldn’t just be friends,” she said.
“In September 2007, we met in Memphis two weekends in a row to figure out what we wanted. When we left each other the second weekend, I knew that he was the one.”
In December 2007, Kathy moved to St. Louis to join Jake. The couple got engaged six days later.
“Our friendship is the base of our relationship, which I think is the most unique quality of our marriage. It started as a friendship for the first four years of knowing each other, but people laugh when they hear our story because everything seemed to pick up and move so quickly,” she said. “Our friends claimed they knew we would always be together, but we kept our secret Memphis getaways to ourselves – until now.”
They had a little piece of Missouri State with them on their wedding day, Dec. 27, 2008. Kathy’s father fashioned a cake cutter from a bat that was given away at opening day of Hammons Field in 2004.
Athletics continues to be a big part of their lives. In addition to Jake’s job with Rawlings, Kathy is the premium services manager with Sportservice at Busch Stadium. She manages suites and special-events catering.
They also enjoy visiting campus as often as possible and keeping up with Missouri State sports teams.
“This past winter we came back for a men’s basketball game and bought matching sweatshirts,” said Kathy. “Yes, we’re totally ‘that’ couple!”