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The Antelope

The Antelope

Through the Eyes: Brady Bonsall


Converting excellence into tradition on the track and in class
By Machol Chol  


During this feature of “Through the Eyes,” I sat down with Brady Bonsall, the head coach of the University of Nebraska at Kearney track team, prior to the departure of the 2018 UNK national qualifiers. They are quickly s preparing for their trip to Pittsburg, Missouri. The team consisted of Bailey Stapleman, a senior pole vaulter from Sandy Creek, Jacob Bartling, a juror thrower from Elm Cree and Jakob Estrada, a freshman high jumper from Ogallala.

Coach Bonsall reflects on the young men’s season leading up to each individual punching in his or her ticket to represent UNK at the national meet. Bonsall, who was a national qualifier at the University of Nebraska and also competed in the Olympic trials for the United States, speaks about his experience and how much it meant to have a chance to compete with some of the best athletes in the world.

Bonsall’s story begins in Burwell, a town about 80 miles north of Kearney. While attending Burwell High School, Bonsall was a multi-athlete, playing football, baseball, basketball and running cross-country. Bonsall said that by his senior year, he had narrowed his sports participation down considerably. In his senior year, Bonsall dropped football and baseball to specialize in cross-country and track and field. While in high school, Bonsall was a state champion in cross-country and a variety of other distance events in track and field.

After Bonsall’s high school career, he attended the University of Nebraska, where he also competed in cross-country and track and field. During his career at UNL, Brady competed in multiple national meets, where he was presented with an opportunity to compete with the nation’s best athletes at the time. After his career at UNL, Bonsall again competed with the best athletes, and this time it was the world. After college, Bonsall competed in the Olympic trials, representing the United States.

After his time as an athlete, he began his coaching career, going on to coach athletes that would get their own chances to compete against some of the best athletes in the nations. Bonsall’s coaching career began in Broomfield, Colorado, where he was the assistant boys and girls coach from 2001 to 2006, when he moved on to Ogallala. There, he was the assistant boys & girls coach from 2006 to 2007.

Brady’s path finally lead him to UNK, where he began as an assistant coach. Soon after, he became the co-head coach and eventually head coach following coach Andy Meyer’s retirement. Bonsall’s career as a head coach has seen multiple national athletes, All-Americans, conference championships, record breakers and all around great students, coaches and faculty.

Bonsall has simultaneously maintained a high level of student GPAs for the cross-country and track, with both teams above 3.0, multiple years in a row. 

In the Next installment of “Through the Eyes” Bonsall explains the next step for 2018 UNK track and field national qualifiers.      


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