Jun 06, 2018
By: Director of Athletic Communcations and Public Relations Kevin Ruple
BEREA, Ohio -- When describing the definition of the scholar-athlete, you need to look no further than the Brennan Family at Baldwin Wallace University where Terry and Teri Brennan have sent all four of their children, three sons and one daughter, and each one is an outstanding example of the philosophy of the student-athlete. Current junior-to-be cross country and track student-athlete Kelly Brennan (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) might be the best of all.
Older Brothers Pat '13, Michael '15 and Brian '18 Started the Success Story
Brothers Pat Brennan '13 and Michael Brennan '15 both played soccer and each earned All-Ohio Athletic Conference, Academic All-OAC and CoSIDA Academic All-District accolades. Pat also was a CoSIDA Division III first-team Academic All-American in 2011. Today, Pat works at one of the Big Four accounting firms in Cleveland at Ernst & Young Investments in its Transaction Advisory Services. Michael is currently finishing his work on a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame (Ind.).
"The Brennan brothers were exceptional students and team leaders and outstanding soccer players," said 16-year veteran Head Coach Reid Ayers. "Both always had their priorities pointed in the right direction. Each knew what he wanted to accomplish at BW, and they did that and much more. It was a joy to coach them and watch them grow and mature during their four years."
"I had a great experience at BW, and I know Mike did too," said Pat Brennan, who lives in downtown Cleveland with his BW teammate, friend and EY colleague Andrew Preis '15. "We got an awesome education, had some very positive internship experiences, got to play soccer in the NCAA Division III National Tournament and built some lifelong friends."
Brian Brennan '18 ran cross country and track and was an All-OAC runner two years ago. An injury and then a very positive internship brought an end to his athletic career and jumpstarted his professional career. He carries a 3.85 grade point average in BW's 3:2 Masters of Accounting Program and has already accepted a job with BDO USA, LLP Accounting, Audit& Consulting Services and begins full-time next May. Brian did an internship at BDO last winter and is working part-time at BDO this summer. Binder Dijker Otte is an international network of public accounting, tax and advisory firms which perform professional services under the name of BDO. He plans to graduate with his MBA in Accounting degree in the spring of 2018.
"Kelly's family means the world to her," said third-year Head Cross Country and Assistant Track & Field Coach Joe Eby. "She gets so excited when her brothers surprise her and come to watch her race!"
Kelly '20 Carries on the Tradition of Success and May be the Best Yet!
Kelly Brennan '20 also is getting the most out of her experiences and this spring reached new heights -- even for a Brennan!
Brennan reset her own school-record in the 800-meter run in 2:10.05 at the Annual BW Harrison Dillard Twilight Meet and qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championship Meet in the 800. In the prelims, she almost reset the record again and finished .01 shy with a 2:10.06 timing. In the finals, Brennan earned her first and her family's first All-America honor with a sixth place finish in 2:10.65.
Brennan, who is an All-OAC and Academic All-OAC competitor in both cross country and track, carries an outstanding 3.98 grade point average in accounting and is in the 3:2 Masters of Accounting Program. This spring, she earned first-team CoSIDA Division III Academic All-District 7 honors and is currently listed on the 2018 CoSIDA Division III XC & Track and Field Academic All-America national ballot (announced and released to the media on June 19). In 2017, she received the 2017 Academic Excellence Award for having the Highest Grade Point Average on the women's cross country and track teams.
"Kelly is a wonderful person and a joy to be around," said Eby, who also competed in the 800 and 1500-meter races when he was a collegian at the University of Mount Union. "I have enjoyed getting to know her over the past three years.
"She is a very bright young woman who works very hard and does an outstanding job in the classroom," said Eby.
Kelly Brennan the Team Leader
"Kelly is the leader of our team in many different ways," said Eby. "She is one of the fastest runners on our team and leads workouts, runs and races. She is a great mentor to the younger ladies on the team, helping them with handling the workload of school, workouts and the day-to-day grind of practice. She goes above-and-beyond all the time.
"She also leads and is a great role model in so many other ways," continued Eby. "She will come in and help time when she is on a different workout schedule. She will help put equipment away after practice. She helps with recruiting, and it's a big reason why our team has flourished and gotten better the past three years. Kelly has continued to grow in all facets of her leadership."
So, What are Eby and Cole Expecting from Brennan in 2018-2019?
"Kelly is a junior next year in all three seasons and our (Eby and Director of Track and XC Matthew Cole) expectation is to continue to help her improve and help her work hard day-in and day-out.
"Kelly had a few hiccups with her training along the way early in her career," said Eby. "But she has bounced back well and bought-in to our training program, including the workouts, nutrition and sleep. She has made that a priority and it is a reason that she has improved so much. If she can stick to the plan, anfd be the best she can be, the sky is the limit. She is an immense talent and has a lot of "it factors that will help her be successful at the conference, regional and national level for years to come."
What Does Kelly Think About All of This??
"I love everything about BW," said Kelly Brennan. "The coaches are amazing and make it so easy to compete as a student-athlete. They understand that academics come first and really stress it to us. I give them credit for a great deal of my success, both in the classroom and in cross country and track.
"My teammates also are awesome," said Kelly. "I came to BW because my brothers went here and Brian just graduated. It was an easy decision for me and one of the best decisions I ever made."
Edited by KR on 6/9/2018