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|Traxler retires after 24 years|
Many things have changed at the University of Louisiana-Monroe since 1985. The university was not even known as ULM at that time.
Up until 1998, the name of the local university on the bayou was known as Northeast Louisiana University.
Through it all, Sharon Traxler has been in the athletic ticket office overseeing many different things during her career at ULM.
Last week, Traxler retired after a 24-year career that saw her become part of a I-AA National Championship in football in 1987 as well as four consecutive NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament appearances from 1990-1993.
"It has been very exciting working here over the past 24 years," Traxler said. "I'm going to miss being around the coaching staff and athletes, of course. In this job, you grow close to people because of the wins and losses, the ups and downs. It's a work environment like none other."
Now she retires after a lengthy career as director of ticketing, a job she has held longer than any other at ULM, but one that she did not begin with upon coming to campus.
Traxler first came to ULM in August 1985 as the administrative assistant to ULM football head coach Pat Collins.
Traxler remained in the football offices and stuck to day-to-day operations of the football coaching offices for a while. Something she really enjoyed during what many consider the golden age of football at the university.
She soon would see her job expand to include helping with ticket sales and distribution at many different athletic events at Warhawk stadiums.
In the summer of 1989, Dave Roberts became head coach of the football team and Traxler settled into the position she has held for the past 20 years, director of ticketing and events manager.
She has traveled all over America handling events for ULM, and she has felt privileged to see things she never dreamed of getting to see growing up.
"Working here has allowed me to see things that I would have never been able to see," Traxler said. "I've been to BYU and seen that beautiful setting in the mountains. I had never seen real snow before going to Washington and Pocatello, Idaho. I had never been to Chicago before this job. What jobs can you do where you get to go to all these places? I've been in all corners of the country."
As far back as the program's second trip to the NCAA tournament in men's basketball in 1986, Traxler was there on the plane ready to help her team.
"There is not a whole lot in the athletic department that she hasn't had a hand in," said former men's basketball coach Mike Vining. "Anytime anybody needed something – whether it was information or to get something done – she was the one they would call. She didn't really have any hours. She just worked all the time. And when she wasn't here, someone would call her with questions about what to do. That is probably going to continue to happen. Nobody is going to know what to do without her."
When thinking back to the glory days of the men's basketball teams that dominated the Southland Conference for many years under its all-time winningest coach, Mike Vining, Traxler recalled her favorite team was one that many local fans recall as their own, too.
The dunking duo of Carlos Funchess and Anthony "Greyhound" Jones were here favorites. The duo led then-NLU to the most wins in a single season in school history in 1991.
Traxler has been there for the beginnings of the women's soccer program in 1999 and women's golf in 2005. She has been present when ULM ended their men's soccer programs and men's tennis ended their storied runs on campus.