Our Team

Meet our 'global' family. Our collaborative efforts and united passion for sports, travel, leadership and growth ensure that every program and every student-athlete is cared for.

Tara Michael


Amsterdam, Netherlands

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As the CEO and Director of Development, Tara Michael is responsible for building our collaborative efforts with universities and providers around the world, as well as executing our overall mission and vision. She holds an MBA degree from the Amsterdam Business School. Michael also graduated with honors from the American University in Washington D.C. with a multidisciplinary degree in Communications, Legal Systems, Economics, and Government. Michael received the Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year award in 2004 for her efforts in the classroom as well as First Team honors in 2003 and 2004 for her success on the lacrosse field.

AU's diverse student body sparked Michael's interest in international affairs, but it wasn't until she tore her ACL sophomore year that she seriously considered a semester abroad. After surgery and rehab, she headed to Namibia and South Africa where her love of travel and culture was born. Michael has since traveled to over 40 countries on six continents, playing lacrosse in Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Holland along the way. 

Jessica Beard Thornton


Chattanooga, Tennessee - USA

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As Director of Marketing and Direct Enrollment, Jess Beard Thornton ensures all staff members not only achieve the mission of Global Players but promote the organization with integrity and authenticity. She is in charge of managing all the incoming applicants while growing the brand from top to bottom.

Thornton pays extensive hands-on attention to the day-to-day operations at GP, to ensure that the students' and universities' experience with us is a positive and rewarding one. She graduated a lacrosse All-American from James Madison University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Marketing and immediately recognized the potential to use sport as a platform to travel all over the world.

After committing to several months of global service in the region of Southeast Asia, she became committed to mentoring young men and women on and off the field, Thornton co-founded Global Players soon after her return to the US, with the desire to offer the same opportunities to student-athletes in college that she had after graduation.

Eamon Thornton

Director of Coaching

Chattanooga, Tennessee - USA

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As the Director of Coaching and Leadership Eamon Thornton is responsible for preparing participants for careers in coaching, teaching or general leadership positions on the youth, collegiate and global scales. He not only develops the core competencies that are taught overseas, he implements and facilitates these courses directly to the student athletes as well. He has been with Global Players since the beginning and has been an instrumental member of staff in making it what it is today. Due to his efforts, collegiate athletes that came on our program as beginners now hold jobs both nationally and internationally at all levels of coaching and management throughout the world.


Thornton graduated a Lacrosse Academic All-American from Hampden-Sydney College in 2006. Thornton is also a certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In addition to his regular contributions to Global Players, Thornton is currently a teacher and coach at McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is busy earning his Masters Degree in Coaching and Leadership from Ohio University.

Additional Information



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500 Dodds Avenue   Chattanooga, Tennessee    37404