DJ Meagher hasn’t been back at Cornell for a while, but he has certainly been in frequent contact with many in Ithaca, especially student athletes interested in real estate. “I usually chat with a couple guys each year,” he said. “This past year I talked a lot with Hunter [Richard '22], who will be working in real estate down here in Dallas. There’s going to be more and more interest in Texas, with so much job and population growth. I’m trying to encourage as many alumni as possible to consider the opportunities.” Now a Managing Director at JLL Capital Markets in Dallas, Meagher felt that he was presented with great opportunities while at Cornell. “I was attracted to the courses in the Business program right away, and then about halfway through, I started honing in on real estate, based on discussions with alumni and other connections,” he said. “What was great was that even as an undergrad, I took courses through the Masters Real Estate program which taught me practical and applicable things to get into commercial real estate. I think it’s unique for undergrads to have that chance and that was huge for me.” At JLL, Meagher advises institutional commercial real estate firms, developers and family offices and has been involved in more than $10 billion in transactions. “We work closely with all types of commercial real estate owners to structure and source debt and/or equity capital on their behalf,” he said. The New Hampshire native's first job after graduation was through a Cornell alum and since then, Meagher said he’s come across “a ton” of Big Red alumni in the industry. He also continues to interact with his former teammates regularly. “I know a lot of people say it, but the best thing about being a Cornell wrestler was the community," he said. "My closest friends are from that era. We stay in touch, and whether it’s Nationals or weddings, we see each other a couple times a year. We went through the trenches together and formed amazing bonds.” In Meagher’s years on the team, Big Red wrestling achieved new heights. In 2011, the squad took second at the NCAAs and won the National Duals title for the first time, beating Ohio State, Missouri, Minnesota, and Virginia Tech along the way. “National Duals was a lot of fun,” he said. “We had such a great lineup*. We had some close matches, but everyone stepped up and we were firing on all cylinders that weekend. That’s a great memory.”
Meagher went 3-1 at that event, securing crucial victories at 157 pounds. In fact, during his time in Ithaca, Meagher won more than 60 bouts, including at least seven wins over All-Americans. He was a two-time EIWA placer and two-time NCAA qualifier despite losing almost an entire season to injury.
“I think my experience prepared me well for my career,” he said. “It’s pretty intense, managing your time and putting in the work. But I felt that while everyone was serious about what they were doing and working hard, we also did a good job of keeping it light and fun. It was about pursuing excellence versus just grinding away. I carried that with me - things can be challenging, but keep perspective and still enjoy what you’re doing.”
He enjoys watching the current version of the Big Red, coached by former teammate Mike Grey.
“Mike is a great friend,” he said. “No one will outwork him and he loves the sport. The team’s in really good hands. Cornell wrestling has a unique culture, with the combination of alumni support, tradition, academic excellence, top notch facilities, and an amazing coaching staff. You really do get it all - the ultimate package. I’m so glad I went to Cornell and it doesn’t stop after you graduate. You’re part of the family for life.”
—---- *The National Duals Lineup 2011 (Mike Grey and Cam Simaz returned from injury later in the season) 125: Frank Perrelli 133: Joe Stanzione 141: Corey Manson/Mike Nevinger 149: Kyle Dake 157: DJ Meagher 165: Justin Kerber 174: Mack Lewnes 184: Steve Bosak 197: Maciej Jochym 285: Stryker Lane/Oney Snyder