On Wednesday November 13, 2019 WGLZ’s announcer Stephen Graebe conducted an interview over the phone with former West Liberty University student Jon-Michael Brunner.
Jon-Michael was a four year student at WLU and had a major in exercise physiology. He graduated from WLU in 2015, and applied to the PA program at WLU. He was one of 18 students accepted into the program and continued to pursue his masters. In 2018 Jon-Michael graduated from the PA program and went on with his degree to get a job working at Wheeling Hospital.
While Jon-Michael talked about his education experience at WLU, he also talked about being a member of the baseball team for four years. During his tenure on the baseball team, he was an outfielder. He also gained national attention while playing baseball as a Hilltopper. He was named the hardest player to strike out at the NCAA Division II level for baseball. Jon-Michael explained what his coaches preached to their hitters during the season, and how he took it serious and worked hard at it.
Jon-Michael explained how he had to balance such a hard major and his baseball schedule. He stated that he always put his education first before anything because he was aware that education and a degree will last longer. Jon-Michael also said that he used baseball as his own personal escape. He explained how typically everyone has something they do to escape and free their mind, and he used baseball as his own.
Along with being a graduate student in the PA program at WLU, he was also the head-coach of American Legion Wheeling Post One 19 and under baseball. He claimed the head-coaching position the same year he was studying for his boards exam. Jon-Michael is a prime example of hard-working and dedication. Once he got to West Liberty he knew his priorities in education, was still able to play baseball and gain national recognition, and manage a summer baseball team during one of the most important times that would have determined what he could do with his degree.