March 7th, 2012

Hyland's Heroes: Scott Wiegandt

Paul Najjar

CSN Staff Writer


Hyland's Heroes: Scott Wiegandt
photo by Chris Jung

Wiegandt to receive CEF award for service in education

The following feature is a part of a weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland, called "Hyland's Heroes" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports. Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

The focus of this week’s Hyland’s Hero takes our attention to several Louisville Catholic schools culminating with the Bellarmine University Knights athletic department.

Scott Wiegandt, Director of Athletics at Bellarmine University, is a product of the CSAA from elementary school through high school at Bishop David and Holy Cross and on to college and graduate school.  He earned an undergraduate degree in Biology and a Masters degree from Bellarmine. An all-American baseball player, he went on to play professional baseball for 10 seasons in the minor leagues.

A teaching stint at his high school alma mater, where his wife, the former Danielle Atzinger is currently the principal, was followed by coaching BU baseball for four years and before moving to a job in athletic administration. Wiegandt has served as Director of Athletics for the past seven years.

Add to all of those accomplishments his induction into the Knights Hall of Fame in 2000 for his extensive baseball achievements and you see a life and career paths that have come full circle.

But next week, on March 14, Wiegandt will be the recipient of a different award; an award not attached to wins and losses. He and six others will receive the Catholic Education Foundation’s Alumni Salute for Outstanding Service to Catholic Education.

“I think the biggest examples for me were growing up in a community where the church and the school were one big community on the same property,” Wiegandt said regarding his service to the community beyond his job. “Seeing how my parents and my friend’s parents were giving of their time to see that the kids got the absolute best in both the school and athletic programs is something I always remember and try to honor.”

While he notes that his primary service examples come from his parents and his friend’s parents, Wiegandt also had mentors from the clergy that were significant influences on his life.

“Definitely the Brothers of Holy Cross were a tremendous influence on me at both Bishop David and Holy Cross,” he said. “I was strongly encouraged to stretch myself and I think that played a huge role in my total development. My biology teacher, Kevin Brever, now the principal at St. Paul Parish School, got me interested in pursuing a career at Bellarmine studying biology just from that class.

“The family atmosphere that Bellarmine has under the leadership of our President, Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, it’s just what I’ve been taught my whole life,” he continued. “What I’ve been taught my whole life is really what I’m living at Bellarmine.

From his formation, through his life’s foundation Wiegandt has been involved at every level in the community outside of his job. He brings a wealth of experience in the Louisville community to help broaden the university’s community footprint. It is, after all, his staff of coaches that travel the country and outside U.S. borders to spread the Bellarmine message through athletics.

“I feel very strongly that no matter what community you’re in, whether it be my elementary school, high school or college experience, so much of that starts at home with your family in a way that you want to incorporate that into your family life,” he stated. “As far as growing the Bellarmine community in the athletics department and being a part of this thriving community, it sure is a family approach. That is key to the successes we’ve experienced and in the processes of my staff and my colleagues here.

The Bellarmine athletic community will soon grow by two teams as Wiegandt and the university recently announced the addition of women’s and men’s swimming as new team sports. With the wealth of talented swim clubs in the Louisville Metro area, and the very successful swim programs in the CSAA and the local catholic high schools, Bellarmine finds itself in the geographical middle of a hotbed for recruiting top level talent for swimming.

“I feel that the addition of women’s and men’s intercollegiate swimming will afford Bellarmine athletics and Bellarmine university the opportunity to recruit student-athletes that fit the university’s academic profile,” he said. “And to have that foundation, that base of perspective of the student-athletes going forward as we build this program, I think it will allow us an excellent opportunity to become regionally and nationally competitive in Division II swimming very quickly.”

And with his notions of family and service to the community leading his direction, Wiegandt is poised to lead the Bellarmine athletic community to greater regional and national prominence.

 

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