The New Head Coach: An Interview with Marceline Wrestling’s HC — Austin Bruner
He’s also my little brother by about 5 and a half years, to be exact. That was enough time to make our lives drastically different in our earlier years and such, but also we’re close enough in age that our friendship has flourished over the years. Is our beloved Marceline Wrestling program in good hands? Yes. I know I’m biased, but I also know that my brother will pour his heart and soul into these kids. He’s young and willing to put in the labor needed in order to have a successful wrestling program.
My brother is a thinker; the type of guy that will carefully choose his words and actions. He is someone who will put in tireless amounts of work to be the best that he can possibly be. I’ve watched him grow into an excellent coach through his love of wrestling and his willingness to be a student of the sport.
I talked a lot about this stuff in my best man speech for Austin so I’ll keep it brief, but I believe that our differing personalities will mesh well to create a nice coaching balance. I look forward to watching what he can do and really think that he is the hardest working person I’ve ever been around. My hope is that this interview will give everyone a little insight into the new head wrestling coach at Marceline. Enjoy this interview with my brother and friend, Austin Bruner.
Success is a relative term and can be different for various people; with that being said, what makes you a successful person?
Austin Bruner (AB): I am doing what I am passionate about on a daily basis. Every day that I am in the classroom, on the practice field, or in the wrestling room, I am doing what I want to do. The professions of teaching and coaching challenge me to grow and evolve every single day and that is something that I take seriously. As long as I get better as a person every day and continue to do what I am passionate about, I consider that success.
What have you done in life to make yourself a successful person today?
AB: I have gotten out of my comfort zone, listened, and worked. I have made it a goal to get out of my comfort zone. There is so much to learn (good and bad) from people and situations that you surround yourself with. Forcing myself to get out of my comfort zone is not always the easy thing to do, but it pays off. Listening to the people I surround myself with, personally and professionally, is what helps me improve on a daily basis. I do not have all of the answers (and never will), but I am willing to listen and learn. Finally, I love the “do the work” mentality. No matter what is going on, control what you can control, and do the work. And don’t get outworked.
Who are some people in your life that you attribute your success to?
AB: There are a lot of people that have attributed to where I am today. My wife, family, close friends, colleagues, and coaches. All of these people in my life have two things in common: they believe in me and they challenge me. My dad always used to say go hard and be confident before every competition. That is advice that I still use today because if I do those two things, everything will work out. My family is the most important thing in the world to me and they are the reason I am where I am today. My coaches always believed me in me and sought to build strong relationships with me. I recently found a note from one of my high school coaches that was written after a horrible performance. He went out of his way to write a note to me about how much he believed in me to lead our team. The people that believe in me and challenge are people that I owe my success to.
What do you feel most proud of in life?
AB: Earning my bachelors degree and graduating Cum Laude. Graduating from Northwest is one of my proudest moments for me because it took several years of hard work to accomplish that goal.
What inspired you to become a teacher and coach?
AB: My former teachers and coaches inspired me to become a teacher and coach. I was fortunate enough to have teachers that made a positive impact on me. My former coaches had the greatest impact on me growing up. They made me believe in myself and gave me the confidence needed to succeed. They were there for me and cared about me. When choosing my career, I thought about what field I could go into that would make a difference. It was clear that education was the route for me because of the impact my teachers and coaches made on me.
You’re now coaching at your Alma Mater, Marceline R-V… Explain why you chose to come back home and the excitement involved.
AB: I didn’t see the opportunity coming, but when it did, I knew it was something that I would regret not going after. It was a no-brainer. The culture that surrounds Marceline Wrestling is something that isn’t found everywhere and it’s something that I wanted to be a part of. I am extremely honored to coach here in Marceline. I am excited to get this wrestling season going with this group of kids. They are hard working, passionate, and as competitive of kids that I have ever been around. I can’t wait to continue to build relationships and to grow with them every day.
If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be and why?
My Wedding Ring- Married to the woman who supports and loves me no matter what. I wouldn’t want to lose what represents that.
My Diploma- It means a lot to me. I worked hard to obtain it.
My computer- Almost everything that is important to me is on my computer.
Family photo album- In the end, hard copy photos can’t be erased.
Firearms/Bow- I enjoy hunting.
If there was only one thing you could eat for the rest of your life…what would it be?
AB: Hot Wings
If you could meet one person (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you want to say to them?
AB: My Grandma Nolan. I remember a few things about her, but I never got to truly talk to her. I would ask her to tell me about her life and what her biggest piece of advice for me is.
Lastly, what does a perfect day look to you?
AB: Getting up early on a gorgeous spring morning to go turkey hunting. Listening to nature and the turkeys gobble as the sun comes up. Harvesting a turkey in the morning and then mushroom hunting and fishing later. Then getting together for a fish fry in the afternoon with family and friends to enjoy great company.