Sports Tours by Sports People
Sports are our passion. Making a difference is our mission.
We do this because we love what we do: developing the whole person & athlete, on & off the field.
We have an abiding passion for sharing and developing sports all around the world. As players, coaches, and fans, we truly understand the needs of our U.S. teams on the field. More importantly, we love the games themselves & the athletes they work to develop.
Jeremy Meccage: CEO & Co-founder
Jeremy co-founded Zag Sports with his wife Melisa and serves as the Chief Experience Officer. He has a love for sport, technology, and enabling young people to reach their full potential. He believes travel is an experience that facilitates positive growth as an individual athlete and for teams. He grew up in Billings, Montana where his Dad taught him the value of being disciplined, a leader, and a good teammate.
He was drafted by the LA Dodgers out of high school and was starting pitcher at the University of Iowa during college. After college, he was again drafted by the Dodgers, but unfortunately sustained a shoulder injury only weeks after signing. He underwent surgery and continued to rehab while living in Argentina. He signed with the Detroit Tigers but his shoulder never regained its full potential. After being released, he closed out his career with the Brasschaat Braves where he played in Europe for a season. Jeremy received his MBA from the University of Iowa after retiring from professional baseball.
Living in Argentina and Europe inspired a love for international travel and led to the creation of Zag. In addition to Zag, he was the pitching coach for Princeton University's Baseball Team for 10 years. Jeremy also developed a video analysis company in 2009 called SkillU.com. He is a consultant for Visual Blasters, a software company, and serves on the development committee for U.S. Field Hockey. He has traveled to over 20 countries and established worldwide partnerships.
Melisa Meccage: Co-founder
Melisa co-founded Zag with her husband Jeremy in 2002. Her lifelong experience with sports, travel, and service were inspirational for Zag. During college, she played field hockey at the University of Iowa and the U21 National Team, traveling the world to compete. She was named First Team All American and Big Ten Player of the Year. After college, she practiced with the Senior Women's National team for a year before traveling to Argentina to play hockey.
Upon her return to the states she began a 20-year coaching career including St. Mary's Hall, University of Virginia, University of Iowa, and concluding with 13 years at Princeton University and a national championship in 2012. Melisa also mentored multiple National Team players during this time. She rejoined Zag full-time in 2016, and traveled to Rio for Zag's USA Field Hockey Supporter Tour at the Olympics.
She is also the founder of Lead Her Sports Academy, an elementary school aged field hockey program designed to teach young girls how to play hockey and optimize character and leadership development. Her four kids: Bryce, Clara, Cayden, and Miah were an inspiration for this program. They all play multiple sports and have traveled with Zag tours! Melisa's experience as a coach and player bring valuable insight to Zag, enabling our tours to be supportive for coaches and best for team growth!
Kate Ely: Service & Operations
Kate joined Zag in 2015 and has been instrumental in the organization and development behind inbound tours to the U.S. In addition, Kate has been a part of developing new Zag Service initiatives across the globe to create more life changing experiences for our teams and the countries we visit. She is passionate about service and social justice which is in line with her Social Work studies at Bloomsburg University. She and her husband Adam live in Bloomsburg, PA with their dog Penny. Kate enjoys traveling and sharing the world with Zag teams, reading, and exercising. She is always searching for ways to have a positive impact on the world. Any team that has traveled with Kate will attest to her caring and thoughtful management, incredible organization skills, and commitment to making travel a life-changing experience!
Mary has been a part of Zag for the last 5 years. Mary serves as our Zag Basketball Consultant and also travels with man teams as Zag Tour Representative. Mary is a long-time NCAA women’s basketball coach. She has coached at Dartmouth College, Princeton University, NYU, Houston Baptist University and is currently the head coach at St. Pius X High School in Houston. She also spent a few years playing professionally in Europe. Her international experience, strong organizational skills, and magnetic personality make her one of Zag’s most valuable and requested tour manager. Her experience as a player and coach enable her to truly understand all aspects of what makes a Zag tour amazing for both the coach and team.
Phil joined the Zag journey in 2015. He is the founder and president of Spiniello Solutions, a company that focuses on maximizing the growth of individuals/teams through personality assessments and performance tools. Phil is a long-time successful NCAA Division I swim coach and coached at Arizona State, Princeton, Rutgers, and UNC. After devoting 13 years to developing young athletes, Phil decided to use his expertise in performance as a platform to start Spiniello Solutions. Phil's expertise is extremely useful for Zag tours and coordinates all Zag Swim initiatives. If Phil is on tour when your team travels, consider yourself lucky!
You can check out Phil's company here
Sal has been a part of the Zag team since 2002. Sal serves as our business consultant and accountant. He founded and is the President of S.A. Burgio & Associates located in Yardley, PA. When he is not crunching numbers, Sal lives the Zag-life, spending his time traveling, hanging at the beach and enjoying himself!
Kim is our travel consultant and partner at The Travel Advantage. She has more than 30 years of experience in the travel industry, working directly with over 80 international/domestic airlines and also works with multiple transportation companies. She is instrumental in our outbound and inbound travel coordination. Kim lives in Ames, Iowa with her husband. She enjoys traveling across the country to support her children and grand kids as they go to school and play sports.