Someone You Should Know, Part 3

Filed in Living by on October 23, 2014 0 Comments

Rick Brandl 2

This is my third article on people I greatly admire. You’ll really get a kick out of this guy, Rick Brandl, who I went to grad school with at the University of Chicago.

Rick, in a word, is just a stud. He’s so damn athletic that it just pisses me off! He’s simply excels at every sport he tries. First of all, he’s a world class runner. He has run a 30:45 minute 10K, which equates to 4.9 minute miles. Huh? And he ran a 2:24:00 marathon, which translates to 5 ½ minute miles, for 26.2 miles! That’s just insane.

Oh, and by the way, he ran these times at a height and weight of 6’ 4” and 190 lb., which is unheard of. World class runners are almost always 5 foot nothing and weigh 100 and nothing. So Rick was honored by Runner’s World magazine as one of the top “heavyweight” runners in the U.S.

Rick is also an all-star volleyball player, bike distance athlete, etc. Knowing all this, I still had the poor judgment to challenge him one time at a sport. I had been taking tennis lessons for a few years and was playing a lot of tennis at a club near my house, so I was feeling pretty good about my skills. My wife and I went to visit Rick and his wife Bonnie one weekend and I asked Rick if he wanted to play some tennis. He said he had never really played much, but yes, he would, so he grabbed his son’s racket and off we went. I thought maybe I finally had his number at a sport.

I think you know where this is going.

I got my ass whipped. Oh well, I thought afterward, at least it was to Rick, and not some lame ass guy.

Rick has always been really cool and humble about his athletic skills. He and Bonnie visited us one weekend and Rick and I ran a 15K race together. I was just hoping to finish the 9.3 miles without passing out. So the race started and Rick ran alongside me, and we talked. After about a mile or so, I told him, “You don’t have to keep running with me, Rick, I’m slowing you way down.” He said, “Yeah, maybe I should get going, but it was fun talking. I’ll see you at the finish line.” After having slowly jogged with me the entire first mile, Rick still went on to win the race by about 10 minutes over the next closest finisher! Like I said, he’s just such a stud.

As a funny aside, apparently one particular guy from my local area had won this 15K race every year for the past several years. After his terrible beating in that day’s race, he was walking around asking, “Who was that guy? Where did he come from?” That was pretty hilarious. “It’s Rick!”

Well, as life would sometimes have it, Rick is also incredibly smart. Where do I begin? He was number one in his college class out of 482 students with a 3.94 GPA and, even more impressive, earned a 3.56 GPA at the U of C. Bear in mind, the University of Chicago, being the number one ranked MBA program in the world, gives out A’s as though they are precious jewels, so Rick’s GPA there was amazing. He’s another one of those guys, like my college roommate Brian McMerty, who I believe exist to show me and others what true brilliance really is.

When I told Rick I wanted to profile him in this series of articles on great people I know and admire, he told me that easily his greatest accomplishments in life have been raising two very compassionate and successful sons, and being married to his lovely wife Bonnie for 32 years. He is also proud of having created and continued to fund a college scholarship program at his alma mater high school.

The more I think about it, maybe, just maybe, it is his devotion to his family and generosity to students in need, and less so his athletic and academic accomplishments, that make Rick such a stud.

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *