By ZANE CLODFELTER
TELL CITY— The path has come full-circle and Andy Brunner is back in a familiar spot after the Tell City School Board named him on Monday the school’s next athletic director. He is replacing John Atkins, who resigned earlier this summer to take a similar position at Corydon Central.
Brunner, 27, is a Tell City native and former three-sport athlete for the Marksmen. After graduating from Tell City in 2009, Brunner attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where he earned a degree in sport communication.
After leaving IU, Brunner was the director of compliance and student-athlete services at the University of Evansville for two years.
“I’ve had athletic administration experience through the University of Evansville in my position there,” he said. “I learned a lot at UE. The athletic department is really small, which makes the administrators very dynamic.”
Working for the Purple Aces in NCAA Division I’s Missouri Valley Conference allowed Brunner the opportunity to cover a variety of roles.
“I covered a wide array of things from compliance, academic services, working the gates, helping with marketing,” Brunner said. “... A wide array of experience gained with them being a small Division I program.”
Recently, Brunner moved back to Tell City and assisted Trent Benningfield with Tell City’s baseball program.
“Being an athletic director has always been a dream of mine,” Brunner said. “Growing up in Tell City, playing sports and having a lot of positive role models in the school system, I thought what better way to pay it forward or give back than being an athletic director here at my alma mater.”
Brunner is familiar with the athletic department he inherits, which includes the boys basketball team returning 100 percent of its statistical contributors from last season and the boys cross country team that enters this week as the No. 5 team in the state.
“John left this athletic department in great standing,” Brunner said. “We have a lot of athletic talent.
“Plus, volleyball will be hosting sectional this year, so there is some major promise within our school system.”
Brunner said over the next couple months, he’ll be assessing different aspects, from training regiments to facilities.
“I want to find ways or items that will benefit the entire student-athlete body,” he said. “Whether that’s improvement to the weight room or educating them on sports nutrition.
The best part for Brunner is being able to mold high school students.
“You can still make a profound impact on them just as a lot of teachers and coaches had an impact on me,” he said.