Courtney Priest
Courtney Priest
Title: Director of Recreational Sports and Fitness
Phone: 312-567-7110
Alma Mater: Valparaiso '04

Illinois Institute of Technology welcomed Courtney Priest (formerly Budd) as the director of recreational sports and fitness in January 2015. Priest carries a valuable combination of experience, leadership, passion, and creativity and has increased the fun and fitness levels of both students and faculty. 

Prior to joining Illinois Tech, Priest earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from North Park University. During this time, Priest also worked as a graduate assistant as North Park’s coordinator of intramurals and special events. This role allowed Priest to gain valuable experience managing recreation center facilities, student workers, intramural leagues, fitness classes, and event scheduling. By incorporating innovative ideas and student outreach, Priest successfully increased North Park intramural participation by 15 percent during her time.

Before North Park, Priest worked as a senior operations manager for Junior Achievement of Chicago. In this capacity, Priest brought financial and economic programing to K-12 students in the Chicago area.  Priest's time with Junior Achievement taught her the practical skills of event planning and management, and the importance of addressing needs of a diverse group through compassion and creativity.

Prior to relocating to Chicago in 2004, Priest earned a bachelor of arts degree from Valparaiso University in Northwest Indiana. While maintaining a strong academic regiment at Valparaiso, Priest also sustained a full-ride athletic scholarship as a soccer player. She was selected captain of the women’s soccer team for three years and was a four-year letterwinner. 

After her collegiate playing career, Priest carried her passion as a player from the field to the sidelines. For eight years, Priest coached soccer at multiple levels, ranging from the club soccer level to an NCAA collegiate program. Priest also holds certifications from the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (Primary Group Fitness Certification), the United States Soccer Federation (National Youth Coaching License), and the State of Illinois (Teacher's License, General Elementary).