A Tampa Bay Buccaneers employee who will celebrate her 35th anniversary with the team on Sunday was recognized for her long-standing dedication and loyalty in a special way Friday.
Jill Hobbs, who has spent most of her time with the Bucs serving as an executive assistant to the general manager, was given a No. 35 Bucs jersey and a check for $35,000 by the team's owners.
Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer and Glazer Family Foundation Co-President Darcie Glazer presented Hobbs with the gifts during a hastily-called staff meeting in the team auditorium at One Buc Place.
Bryan Glazer began the meeting by recognizing Hobbs for her 35 years of service and presenting her with the framed No. 35 jersey. Then he said an occasion such as this merited Hobbs receiving something a little bigger.
As the staff looked on, Glazer reached behind a backdrop on the stage of the auditorium and pulled out a three-foot-long, two-foot high check made out to Hobbs for $35,000.
"I was thrilled just to get the jersey, because those are special,'' Hobbs said. "Those are saved for the elite, for the players. When he gave me the check I was like, 'Oh, my God.' It was shocking.''
Hobbs currently serves the Bucs as the manager of their player benefits and alumni program and said she has remained loyal to the Bucs because they have always been loyal to her.
"I enjoy the work that I do,'' said Hobbs, who received a flat-screen television from the team for her 20th anniversary. "Once you find something you're that passionate about, you need to stick with and I have and they have stuck with me.
"And were it not for my loving husband, Pete, none of this would have been possible. Without his support it never would have happened because you're working 30-40 weekends a year as well as all the events we have.
"There are the meetings, the draft, deadlines to get contracts done and renewals done and insurance and workers comp and all that, and during all that time, the Glazer family never let me down, so I'm not going to let them down.''