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BW Senior Alex Kurtz is a Leader On & Off the Football Field

BW Senior Alex Kurtz is a Leader On & Off the Football Field

BEREA, Ohio – For the past three seasons, Baldwin Wallace University offensive lineman Alex Kurtz (Smithville) has been a mainstay and starter on the Yellow Jacket offensive line. He is a leader in every sense of the term.

Kurtz also is a model student-athlete and well-respected by his teammates and the BW faculty for his efforts and success both in the classroom and on the field. He carries a 3.47 grade average, is an intern on campus and has earned Dean's List recognition, including last spring.

"Alex has been one of our strongest leaders academically, in the weight room and in the campus community," said 15th-year Head Coach John Snell. "He serves as an intern in the Center for Innovation & Growth, which is an outstanding leadership experience on our campus; he was a member of the athletic leadership class taught by Dr. Alan Kolp; and, Alex has really grown as a leader in our football program.

"Alex is one of the hardest working players that we have had in our weight room since I have been at BW," continued Snell. "He is one of those guys we have to kick out of the weight room because of our concern of overtraining. We have great respect for his work ethic and commitment to Yellow Jacket football and we are looking for him to have a great senior season."

"My time at the Center for Innovation and Growth has been an incredible opportunity that has provided me with a variety of unique experiences," said Kurtz. " At the CIG, we help solve organization's most challenging issues while working with a diverse team with a foundation based on culture and virtues.  This focus on collaborative teamwork has helped me develop professionally over the past two years in ways that I would have never imagined."

A year ago, Kurtz, who is a pre-physical therapy and athletic training major, helped the BW offense accumulate 31.5 points and 420.6 yards of total offense per game en route to a 7-3 overall and 7-2 Ohio Athletic Conference record and a second place finish. This year, Kurtz and his teammates want more.

"I look forward to embracing a position change to left tackle and taking a leadership role on the offensive line to ensure our unit runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible," said Kurtz.  "I also want to make the best of my final season by giving incredible effort and enjoying every moment along the way."

"Last year was another improved season," said Snell. "Our offense just got better and better as the season progressed, and I think Alex and the members of our offensive line had a lot to do with that success.  Having Alex and Andrew (junior tackle Andrew Sierawski '18) back definitely will help with the continuity."

"The understanding of culture from both a business (professional) and sports aspect is a leadership trait that I plan to bring to our football team this fall," said Kurtz.  "Along with understanding the team culture, I believe that my experience as a three-year starter will help me to lead the team to a very successful season. I am excited to keep the momentum from last season moving forward into this season.

As a freshman, Kurtz began the season on the freshman and junior varsity team and matriculated onto the varsity. As a sophomore and again last season, he was one of BW's best offensive linemen, and that really helped the Yellow Jacket offense get into high gear, esecially during its 44-31 season-ending win versus rival Heidelberg University.

"Like our entire offense last season, Alex improved all year long," said Snell. "We are hoping that improvement carries over into this season and we are even stronger and more potent than a year ago.  I think we have both the talent and ability to be better. It is going to take a lot of hard work by Alex and the rest of our offense during preseason camp and all season long."

Kurtz already has a possible future mapped out and feels his BW experience has been and will be pivotal to his success.

"After I graduate in the spring, I plan to either enroll in the one-year Masters of Business Administration program here at BW or explore my options in the business world," said Kurtz. "Whichever choice I pick, I believe that my time at BW will help me excel in the future."

That's definitely the confidence of a leader!

BW opens its 2016 season on Thursday, September 1 against non-conference foe Defiance College on Shriners' Night at The George Finnie Stadium and on Tressel Field. It also will be the first home game for the use of the new video scoreboard at Finnie Stadium.  Kickoff is at 7 p.m.