Meet Monarch Member and Fairfield Football Alumnus Jim Lopusznick '00

Meet Monarch Member and Fairfield Football and Baseball Alumnus Jim Lopusznick '00

Photo of Jim and Melissa Lopusznick

Jim, a former Fairfield baseball and football student-athlete, recently reconnected with the University during the 2023 Friends of Fairfield Football reception and hopes to strengthen his connection with Fairfield and Fairfield Athletics to make a long-lasting difference in the lives of our student-athletes and entire campus community.

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?
Family, academics, and faith were very important growing up. My mother, father, and older siblings attended Catholic universities and Fairfield was, and continues to be, very competitive. Fairfield was a top choice because my twin brother, Tom Lopusznick ’00, and I both got scholarships to play baseball at the University. It also happened to be Fairfield’s Football’s inaugural season back in 1996, and Tom and I were being recruited to play both sports.
The University and the surrounding area had some family history also. My mother and father grew up in Southern Connecticut. There were lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc., in the area. My dad went to Fairfield Prep, located on campus at Fairfield. One of the Jesuit priests that coached him in baseball was still at the University while my brother and I attended our first year, so we got to have lunch with him and hear some old memories about my father’s high school playing days. There was just an incredible connection to Fairfield and the surrounding area even before I went there. 

As the University was only a two-hour drive from our house in central New Jersey, my parents had the opportunity to drive up to campus to watch football and baseball games regularly. Another very important reason for attending Fairfield was having my paternal grandfather nearby in Westport, Conn. Being able to spend time with “Grandpa Nick” turned out to be such an amazing part of our time up a Fairfield. My twin brother and I used to go over to his house almost every Friday night during our time there. After four years, just about all my teammates and coaches knew who he was, as he attended several practices and games and was always in the stands cheering us on. He loved talking about his grandsons. We were incredibly blessed to spend that time with him!

How are you involved with the University now?
After being inducted into the Fairfield Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006 for football, I fell out of touch with the University— like other former football student-athletes— after the Fairfield Football program was discontinued in 2002.

I reconnected with the University this year during the 2023 Friends of Fairfield Football reception, where football alumni and their families were invited to return to campus to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our 1998 MAAC Championship. The event truly helped motivate me to restart my involvement with my alma mater. Seeing all my former teammates, catching up on old times, and learning about the successes everyone was enjoying in life, renewed my love for Fairfield. Being back on campus and involved in some way, shape, or form, made me feel that connecting with my former teammates and coaches for years to come would be possible.

I really do feel a brand-new connection with the University—through football and baseball friends, the Athletics department, the Hall of Fame, and my oldest nephew Tyler Lopusznick ’27 who is starting at Fairfield this fall. It just feels like a new beginning. 

I recently became a member of the Friends of Fairfield Athletics Monarch Program to invest in the Walsh Athletic Center Weight Room for all student-athletes. I also attended the Class of 2023 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in April to support all the people getting inducted. Going forward, I’d like to get involved with the Hall of Fame Committee in some capacity.

What inspires you to stay involved with the University?
My aspirations, personally and professionally, are to develop more relationships, to find out how I can make the most impact with my time and money, and to be a part of events and programs that are meaningful to me and my family.

When I attended the Friends of Fairfield Football reception, my sons, Jacob, 7, and Luke, 5, got a chance to see me make a speech about how special our ’98 football team was. I enjoyed sharing memories with them about my playing days and lessons learned. This event helped them understand how important it is to be a part of a team.

Being able to discuss with them who I was as a student-athlete through sports and showing them how meaningful going to college can be was an incredible experience. It’s all about developing relationships and the “bond of brotherhood!”

I'm giving to the University, and the University is giving back to me. I look forward to continuing the partnership. It feels great to be back and involved in some capacity!

How do you hope your support will impact the future of Fairfield University?
Seeing what the University looks like right now versus 23 years ago when I graduated—it's unbelievable! The facilities, fields, and stadiums on campus are just remarkable. My contributions through the Monarch Program are being invested to enhance the Walsh Athletic Center Weight Room and help every student-athlete optimize their performance. New weights, new machines, upgrades to equipment, and eventually additional weight training staff, are all things that I hope my donations will help bring to the University.

The Monarch Program is a great start. I hope to continue to learn more about what else I can do to give back philanthropically. 

Any advice for fellow Fairfield Athletics alumni and friends about how to stay involved?
My advice would be to talk to the Athletics Department to understand all the different ways to get involved — whether it's money, time, or effort. Also, reach out to any of your alumni friends to see if they are involved in giving back to Fairfield. Perhaps they can inspire you to get involved and give back to Fairfield. Talk to the University Career Center if you are in a position within your company to hire college graduates, provide internship opportunities, be part of a panel discussion, or just give advice to those who are willing to listen to a person with years of professional experience.

About Jim Lopusznick and Family
In his 10th year at BP Sales Group, an independent sales rep agency based out of Plainview, NY, Jim is a Sales Manager for the Greater NJ/NY Metro Area. He lives in Colts Neck, New Jersey, with his wife, Melissa Lopusznick who is a grammar school Principal in the Ocean Township School District. The Lopusznicks have two sons, Jacob and Luke.

Jim graduated with his twin brother, Tom Lopusznick ’00, who was inducted into the Fairfield Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2012 for baseball. Jim’s nephew, Tyler Lopusznick ’27, will join Fairfield as a business major in the fall.

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