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Brandon Bear

Welcome to my page!  This is my 4th season coaching cross country at Blacksburg High School.  I am currently completing a doctoral degree in Physics studying astrophysics, and a master's degree in Educational Psychology at Virginia Tech.

A picture of a pulsar in the middle of a supernova remnant

I hail from Hellam, Pennsylvania, where I ran all four years of high school cross country and track and field for the Eastern York Golden Knights.  During that time I had broken the school 1600m record in 2005 with a time of 4:24.59, and currently I hold the school 2nd best 3200m time in 9:41.13.  I was a three time individual qualifier for the PIAA AA State Championships in cross country, and a state qualifier for the 1600 and 3200 in track senior year.  Outside of running I was involved with all of the school bands, choruses, and musical productions available, Science Olympiad, National Honor Society, Future Leaders of York, and earned the rank of class valedictorian.

Back home my family has four dogs (Belgian Malinois) and a cockatiel named Max.  Max likes to pretend like he's your friend, and then he attacks!  (I trained him how to do that.)  The picture here is of my dog Savannah.  Here in Virginia I have a cat named Kitty, a puppy named Ginger, and a leopard gecko named Cruiser.

Following high school, I attended Elizabethtown College where I completed the first triple major in school history in physics, math, and philosophy of science.  I ran cross country and track and field for the Division III school for two years, but "retired" after sophomore year.  Freshman year was my fastest of the two with school freshman outdoor track records for the 5000m in 15:08.83 and 10000m in 32:18.44 (still currently held).  During college I was also involved with many campus organizations.  I worked for the Office of Admissions as the Student Assistant and Tour Guide Supervisor, was a peer mentor for the orientation program and eventually a Peer Mentor Trainer, president for both the Association of Physics and Engineering Students (APES) and the Honors Council as a part of the College Honors Program, student representative for Scholarship and Creative Arts Day, and the drummer for a band (look for "For the Greater Good" on iTunes), as well as dabbling in some other things here or there. 

I am also very proud to have been awarded one of two "Student of the Year" awards by the college faculty for three years, and recognized with the Omnia Award (Greek for "good in all things") senior year.  Most importantly I met Allison during college in cross country, so the school loans that are piling up were probably worth it.

Savannah doesn't like Allison

I have one major life goal:  to become a professor at a small liberal arts style college like Elizabethtown (maybe at Elizabethtown if I'm lucky!), where the main focus is on student education and experiential learning.  We are facing a crisis in America of scientific illiteracy, and I hope to use my skills as a public speaker to work towards publicizing science and logical reasoning (if I can help just one person I'll count it as a success!).  Along the way I want to continue coaching, and training towards qualifying for the marathon Olympic trials eventually.  So far I've run my best time at Philadelphia in 2:56:54, I need to work on that.  I'd also like to learn how to play the guitar, and play the piano better.  Oh, and I want to climb to the top of the tallest mountain of every state, so far Allison and I have done Virginia and New Jersey.

Go Blue Jays!

My hope as a coach at Blacksburg is that I'm helping the students realize that they can achieve success in anything they want to accomplish, that you don't have to be good in just one aspect of your life.  I hope that they can look to me and see that it's possible to work hard at running, school, and in extracurricular activities that they are excited about, and they can prosper from these endeavors while still having an enjoyable and fulfilling life.  Being closer to the age of the team, I want to be able to talk to them about what choices they're going to have to make about their futures, as I'm making these choices now, and how important goals are inside and out of cross country.  And above all else, I want them to be excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, and to never forget that excitement as they work towards their goals.

I also hope you enjoyed my page and reading about my various adventures!