Mandzik's Journey to WVU

  • By Brian Kuppelweiser
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  • February 05, 2013 11:39 AM
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Often times in life, you hear stories that inspire – stories that stir the emotions in a fashion unlike any other.

An individual overcomes hurdles and breaks though walls to accomplish a goal or make a dream come true.

For WVU starting heavyweight Phil Mandzik, he simply hasn’t taken no for answer on his way to becoming a key contributor in the Mountaineers’ lineup.

Mandzik, a 28-year old non-traditional student from Bradenton, Fla., has experienced it all – extreme poverty, rejection, heartbreak and trying times.

However, through it all, Mandzik pushed through and battled on with a positive attitude and an unbroken spirit during circumstances that would have broken the will of many others.

Recently, Mandzik was the subject of a feature story by Chris Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The story profiled Mandzik’s past, which included a stint as a dump truck driver for Manatee County, spot duty at a large home improvement store, a stop at Tennessee-Chattanooga, and times when Mandzik lived out of his truck among other things.

Last, but not least, the article comes full circle to today, where Mandzik finds himself one semester (six hours) from graduating with his degree in history and battling with the nation’s top wrestlers on a daily basis.

Mandzik is truly an inspiration – an individual that truly personifies what it means to give everything you have in the hopes of fulfilling your dreams.

Here is a link to Anderson’s story: Click Here


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