By Tessa Lengeling ’15
Brady Buresh ’08 is the Williams Arena and Sports Pavilion manager at the University of Minnesota, where he oversees the facilities and organizes events for the Big 10 university.
It’s the sort of job he dreamed of having when he was growing up in the small Iowa town of Traer, and Simpson College helped make that dream come true.
At Simpson Buresh wasn’t just another number, he felt like part of a community.
“Simpson was one of the few schools that had a sports administration major and was the right size for the adjustment to college,” he said.
Buresh said he felt at home at Simpson. He could walk around campus and know a majority of the people. Not only did he get to know students, but also staff and faculty, particularly Nicci Whalen, department chair and associate professor of sport science and health education, and John Sirianni, special assistant to the president of Simpson and former athletic director.
“Nicci Whalen was one of the first professors I met when visiting Simpson, and John Sirianni was my baseball coach,” he said.
“They both were big influences in my decision to attend Simpson and why I enjoyed my experience so much. They were excited about the school and program.”
Buresh was able to create strong relationships with professors in and out of the classroom. “I worked out in the gym with math professors at 6 a.m.,” he said. “I knew I could talk to any of my professors about anything I needed, and I carry that open door philosophy into my professional world today.”
While at Simpson, Buresh was involved with all aspects of campus but focused his energy in athletics. He played baseball and worked for three years with the athletic department, starting with the football team and working his way through each section of the department.
Buresh helped organize and set up various athletic events, including football and baseball games, throughout his three years working in the athletic department.
“Some parents thought I was staff of the college and not a student,” he said. “By senior year I felt in charge of the athletic facility. The department gave me the knowledge and skills I needed and said go at it.”
During Buresh’s college summers, he worked with the Waterloo Bucks, a collegiate summer baseball league, as their game day coordinator. He was offered a position for after graduation, but he wanted to go to graduate school. He knew he wanted to stay involved with college-aged kids and pursue his masters in sports administration.
“When graduation came I felt prepared to attend grad school because of my experience at Simpson,” he said. I was ready and had more experience than most other grad students.”
Buresh attended graduate school at Western Illinois University and graduated with a master’s degree in sports administration. He completed an internship with Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
“I ran with the Winthrop internship and gained so much experience,” he said. “I learned video, setup, TV broadcast and how to run conference championships.”
Buresh stayed with Winthrop for an extra year to become the director of facilities. He then moved to the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where he organized more than athletic events, but also a major Florida Georgia Line concert.
“The position at the University of North Carolina was a 24/7 kind of job,” Buresh said. “The concert was right when their album came out so it was exciting and I was able to run with the new experience.”
Now at the University of Minnesota, Buresh is living what he set out to do. “It has been my dream since I was a kid to run Big 10 sporting events. I’m so blessed to be a part of it,” he said.
Buresh’s road to success started at Simpson.
“My professors and supervisors in the athletic department gave me the opportunity to shine in my field,” Buresh said. “The liberal arts education helped expand my mind to think outside the box
“I found out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life at Simpson.”