A love of lacrosse, a hard work ethic, and a lot of faith have paved the way for Terry Foy '03 to achieve the career of his dreams.
Once a goalie for the Saint Ignatius lacrosse team and a writer for The Eye, Foy has combined his writing and storytelling ability with his passion for lacrosse as the CEO of Inside Lacrosse.
In his prominent role, Foy steers the ship for Inside Lacrosse, which is one of the top lacrosse media companies in the world. He oversees the entire organization from top to bottom, ensuring the business succeeds. And in every aspect of his job, Foy operates with a Men for Others mentality.
Foy's love for lacrosse begins way back in the early 1990's. His older brother, Kevin '95, got a lacrosse stick for Christmas during his freshman year and started playing the sport. Foy followed his brother to games as a ballboy and waterboy, falling in love with the sport. And following in the footsteps of his grandfather ('30), his dad ('64), and two brothers (Brian '92 and Kevin '95), Terry was destined to be a Wildcat.
Lacrosse was not necessarily his first love, that was football. As a young kid, Foy would stand next to the locker room doors, and slap hands with the Football Cats as they headed onto the field. As Foy says, "That spark lit the ignition that's led to the last 30 years of development."
After all, football was more accessible for Terry as a kid. Youth lacrosse programs did not yet exist on the West Side, so for the Westlake native, his only exposure was summer camp at Saint Ignatius. Besides that, you just threw the ball against your garage door.
That didn't dampen Foy's love for lacrosse. The St. Bernadette's grad played all four years at Saint Ignatius as a backup goalie, as well as three years of football. The Lax Cats did experience some ups and downs, as the program's first coach, Ed Aghajanian, left after the 2001 campaign. But Foy did learn from the experience.
"I learned about the value of organization, ambition, and experimentation," Foy says. "I cherish both of those experiences, as I contrast the two leadership styles in the programs. I also treasure the memories with my teammates, some of whom became my closest friends. I'll always remember the road trips to Columbus and Pittsburgh, playing Euchre in the back of the bus."
Foy also discovered his love for writing at Saint Ignatius. He joined the student newspaper, The Eye, contributing during his junior and senior years. That experience led to his decision to join his college student newspaper at Loyola University Maryland.
At the prominent Jesuit school, Foy found his niche, covering the lacrosse team for The Greyhound. He joined the student newspaper during winter break of his freshman year. Located in the heart of lacrosse country in Baltimore, the Greyhounds boast a prominent program. In 2003, Loyola brought in the #2 ranked recruiting class in the country, which didn't include Foy. But the decision to write paid dividends.
As it so happens, at his first game covering the team, Foy sat next to the person who would hire him four years later, John Jiloty, then the Editor-in-Chief of Inside Lacrosse.
"I chose Loyola with a job like this existing in the back of my mind, then it turned out to exist," Foy chuckles. "It took a lot of faith, that was part of the calculus."
So after a great four years at Loyola and a bachelor's degree, Foy began as his journey at Inside Lacrosse in 2007.
Foy entered the industry at a fortuitous time. Digital and social media exploded at the start of his tenure, so Foy found himself diving in and learning. Foy taught himself a wealth of skills for his wide job description – story assignment, writing, print magazine, page design, and layout. Foy had some experience through the newspaper, but not for a monthly magazine.
Over the next four years, his role stayed the same but Foy developed plenty. He focused on shooting and editing audio & video, photography, and social media.
"I knew that I was fortunate to find a job in sports media and in lacrosse, which allowed me a latitude to develop skills," Foy says. "No other job allowed that flexibility or allowed me to use all of my skills. I knew that opportunities would happen organically to satisfy my ambition."
In 2011, Foy's hopes came true with a promotion to Managing Editor. The role proved to be a good one, as Foy enjoyed the responsibility and helped Inside Lacrosse to keep improving.
In October 2014, Foy earned another promotion, to editor-in-chief. And then five months later, Foy was promoted further to publisher.
Foy now serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Inside Lacrosse. As you might imagine, the job entails plenty of responsibility. Foy oversees content, technology, sales, events, finance, and human resources for a company that draws 60 million annual page views.
At the root of his job is communications, facilitating communications to the staff, internal communications upwards to investors and ownership, and outwards to the audience as a voice for the magazine. So, each day looks different for Foy with different meetings. Mondays are for editorial content, sales is on Tuesday, IT on Wednesday, events on Thursday, and finance on Friday.
Through it all, Foy leans on lessons learned at Wildcat High.
"Men for Others is such a good mantra. It orients my perspective," Foy says. "You care more about your staff than anything else. With Men for Others and my lived experiences, I learn where my leadership wasn't as others-focused as it could be. If you support and look after the people for whom you're responsible, the product will follow. Greatness is in the agency of others. If you give others agency over creation, greatness will follow. Saint Ignatius supported and helped me flourish with critical thinking skills and an analytical approach to solving problems."
Even some of his credibility came from Saint Ignatius.
"I earned a lot of respect because I'm not from the [lacrosse] community, without a background like many others," Foy says. "I've had to earn everything I've gotten. Part of it is that people think I'm smart, and good with vocabulary and trivia. My vocab comes from my time with Father Streicher [S.J.], and my trivia comes from Bob Corrigan ['93] and Father Ober [S.J.]. I have a novel approach to looking and talking about the game, and I don't have an institutional bias beyond my non-nativism.
"Plus, I saw great athletes at Saint Ignatius. Anthony Gonzalez ['03] was in my small group Kairos. I played with John Kerr ['02], who was a star at Indiana and played at Ohio State. I played with multiple NFL players. The otherness of Ignatius is something I always find myself balancing. I don't want to over glorify, but wouldn't be who I am without Ignatius."
Over the years, Foy has kept in touch with the program and watched it grow.
He's proud of where the Lax Cats are now as a team.
"I'd never been able to see Ignatius play because of being restricted to East Coast during lacrosse season, but Ignatius played three games in Maryland last spring, so I got to go and watch them, which was a cool experience. The program is a source of pride," Foy says. "The coaching acumen and talent is awesome. I'm heartbroken for the seniors because the stars were lining up for them for this season. This was going to be the best season in recent memory and possibly for the foreseeable future."
Similarly, many at Saint Ignatius have been following Foy's career.
Joe Boehm '05 is among them. A coach for the Saint Ignatius lacrosse program, Boehm played with Foy back in the day and has stayed in touch with his close friend.
"Since our time at Wildcat High together, Terry and I have bonded over lacrosse. He’s a great friend to the program, and an even better guy himself," says Boehm. "Lacrosse was still in its early stages of rapid growth in the Cleveland area when we played together. It’s pretty surreal to think that someone from those teams could be sitting at the center of the lacrosse universe like Terry is today."