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For Brandon Grengs, it’s game on after receiving fellowship aid at Wichita State

The sport management major is pursuing a master’s degree while working for the Wichita Thunder

Baseball and basketball are two of Brandon Grengs’ favorite sports, but being a Minnesotan, hockey isn’t far behind. He recently landed a job with the Wichita Thunder minor league hockey team.
Baseball and basketball are two of Brandon Grengs’ favorite sports, but being a Minnesotan, hockey isn’t far behind. He recently landed a job with the Wichita Thunder minor league hockey team.

Like many young men his age, Brandon Grengs loves sports. He was an athlete at the small high school he attended in Canby, Minn., and he avidly follows his favorite professional teams, the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Also like many other young men, his athletic abilities were good but not of the caliber that would position him for a professional career.

So Grengs considered his options and found another way to have a sports-related career — getting a degree in sport management. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University-Mankato and then researched master’s degree programs all over the country before choosing Wichita State’s. Learning that he would receive a graduate assistantship as well as the John Hansan Sports Administration Fellowship clinched the deal for him.

“Finding financial aid in graduate school is very important,” Grengs says. “You’re looking at taking out a giant student loan and racking up debt. That’s pretty stressful. At the same time, I know how important it is to get a good education that will lead to the kind of career I want. I’m thrilled and honored to receive this fellowship.”

Getting a degree in sport management can open up a world of opportunities, Grengs says. Careers can include working for professional, collegiate or amateur teams; golf course management; health industry and fitness centers; sports retail companies; YMCAs; Boys and Girls Clubs; event coordinators; and much more.

“Of course, the ideal for most people is landing with a professional sports team, but there’s so much more to sport management than that,” he says. “It’s all about helping people experience the beauty of sports.”

Grengs has had internships with three collegiate summer baseball teams and one with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wichita Thunder recently hired him as a full-time account specialist, working primarily on season-ticket sales, promotions and some game-related activities when the season opens next fall.

“I’m loving it so far but I’m eager to get into the season and see what kind of challenges and opportunities that brings,” he says.

Grengs plans to complete his master’s degree program next spring. Mark VermillionMark Vermillion, chair of the WSU sport management department, sees a bright future for the 22-year-old student.

“Brandon is a highly motivated, insightful, articulate and curious student,” he says. “We are proud to have him earn such an important fellowship and represent our department not only on campus, but also in our community.”

Grengs attributes his strong work ethic in part to growing up on his family’s farm near the small town of St. Leo, Minn. As he puts it, doing manual farm labor like shoveling manure, picking up rock and working with cattle taught him what hard work is all about. He knows that will come in handy in his career, which can involve a lot of work on nights, weekends and holidays.

“You’re expected to perform, and if you don’t, well, there are 100 other Brandons out there just waiting to step into your place. You really have to set yourself apart.”


circle arrow To help students like Brandon, please contact Jessica Treadwell, WSU Foundation director of development for the College of Education, at 319-978-6842 or