For many college students, playing golf as part of school might seem like a dream come true. For Jordan and Josh Reinertson, UNL College of Business Administration students and members of the Husker men’s golf team, the dream is a reality – although it may not be the life of leisure some would imagine.
The Reinertson brothers, who came to UNL from Gibbon, Neb., were both recently awarded the distinction of Highest Honors for their academic achievements at the 2012 Student-Athlete Recognition Banquet. Altogether, 84 College of Business Administration student athletes were honored, the most of any college.
To achieve such success, the Reinertson brothers found out that being on the golf team did not mean life would be a walk in the park.
“I learned very early that time management was going to be a big key,” Jordan, a junior finance and business education major explained. “Especially during my freshmen year, I realized I was going to have to allow for two, three, four hours of study every day if I was going to be successful.”
The golf team has competitions in the fall and spring semesters which make it a challenge to stay on top of school work year round.
“We have about five tournaments in the fall,” Josh, a redshirt freshmen business administration major said. “Those are mostly nearby in places like Missouri or Kansas. In the spring semester, since the weather isn’t great around here, we usually go down south to Texas, Florida and California -- so there’s quite a bit more traveling in the spring.”
Like many small town kids growing up in Nebraska, the Reinertson brothers dreamed of competing as Husker athletes most of their lives.
Josh and Jordan Reinertson hit the driving range
“We’ve always been Husker fans, so we thought it would be pretty cool to come here.” Josh said.
Since arriving at UNL, Josh has also discovered the academic side of life can be pretty cool too.
“When I originally came here, I was thinking about going into physical therapy but I’ve done a 180 since then. I like math so I took an accounting class with professor Jean Riley-Schultz. I really liked it and she was a great teacher. I also had Trevor Shonhiwa this semester for Accounting 202, and both of them have been really helpful to me. They’ve influenced my decision to go the business route.”
Jordan encourages prospective Husker athletes to check out Nebraska.
“I went on visits to other schools to get a feel for their academic support staff and the facilities,” Jordan said. “Nebraska was by far the best in both academics and athletics.”
Josh added that the willingness of advisers to help has been tremendous. “I’ve always felt comfortable talking to anybody, whether that be our academic adviser Alvin Banks or our professors. They'll always take time to help us out.”
The Reinertson brothers have great support at home too, from their parents. It also did not hurt that their father, Paul Reinertson, is a golf coach for Gibbon Public Schools.
“Our dad brought us up with the game and we’ve been playing since we were three years old,” Josh said. “We had a little bit of success along the way so we kept practicing and working hard and here we are.”
A third brother, Rylee Reinertson currently competes on the Gibbon high school golf team and is also having great success.
All of the brothers can attest that even though it can be a struggle to balance the demands of a student athlete, being on the golf team is something that athletes participating in other sports would not mind changing places with on occasion.
“Sometimes we run into our friends at the Hewitt Center Training Table and they’re like, ‘Man, I wish I was on the golf team today,’” Jordan said. “It’s over 80 degrees and they may be in off season workouts, whereas we get to go play 18 holes of golf. There’s a few that wouldn’t mind switching with us on those days.”
Jordan, who led all Husker golfers at the Big Ten Golf Championships held at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind., was also given a Big Ten Sportsmanship award by the conference for distinguishing himself through good sportsmanship and ethical behavior.