Often times people compare athletics teams, or even whole athletics departments to a family. While this is certainly true at Pittsburg State, there are also several athletes and coaches that benefit from having their actual family with them as well.
There are ten sets of siblings on rosters at PSU. Twelve of these athletes play the same sport as their brother or sister. Then there are the special parent/child relationships. Derek Beck and Luke Rampy spend everyday on the gridiron with their fathers, while Luke’s brother Zach is a graduate assistant. Alex Muff, women’s basketball, can stop into see her dad, head men’s basketball coach Kevin Muff, whose office is right next door to her head coach. Tim Pierce, who works in the equipment room, gets to work closely with his dad, assistant football coach John Pierce.
In many cases, one family member deciding to come to Pittsburg State directly influenced a younger family member’s decision. For the Brandeckers, they both came to Pitt State at the same time, but George joined the baseball team first, while Nick was going to play golf. After George had a great experience with baseball and with some prodding from the baseball coaches, Nick also decided to play baseball.
“Alexa’s experience definitely influenced me,” Luke Bordewick said. “I hadn’t really heard of Pitt State before she came here. Once she committed, I started looking at Pitt State and came to a couple camps here. I signed mid-June after my senior year. I came here and fell in love with it.”
Having a family member so close and going through some of the same things can be comforting. The Bordewicks talk to each other often to work through frustrations, get sympathy after a hard practice or share in each other’s successes. Trevor Gregory likes having his sister, Haylee, around for a good home-cooked meal. Alex Muff can often be seen talking to her dad before or after games.
“I know after games, I will get the coaching advice,” Muff said. “After that I will get the more fatherly advice, the ‘good games’ and things like that. I know that he wants me to do a good job and be successful and I appreciate that so much.”
Having a family member on your team can also provide another layer of competition that sometimes can spread beyond the field of play as well.
“At practice our teammates and coaches joke around a lot and say ‘Who is going to be the better twin today?’” George Brandecker said.
“It kind of motivates us both to be better,” Nick added. “It is also nice to know that we always have someone to play catch with.”
Luke and Alexa talk about how a friendly driveway pick up game at home can become a major battle.
No matter what, it is clear that family bonds are an overall positive thing and the real family bonds within the Pittsburg State athletics family makes our Gorilla family stronger as well.
“There are very few people that can be athletes in college,” Luke Bordewick said. “Having someone as close as your sister go through some of the things you go through is pretty unique. I think it is awesome.”