Since you are already looking at this blog I bet you are wondering who has created it. That would be me, Michael Kordek, a student and wrestler at UNI. If you look on the “About the Blog” page you will be able to see why I created this blog. In this page I would like to do the same Q & A style as in my interview with team mates.
Michael Kordek is a Red Shirt Sophomore who will be competing at 184 this upcoming season. Michael started his wrestling career at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois; where he became a one time state qualifier his senior year. He is the youngest in a family with 5 children. Michael has 2 older brothers, Kris & Andy, as well as 2 older sisters, Anna & Monika. Kordek is a first generation American as both his parents, Mariola & Kazimierz, each came from Poland about 30 years ago.
Q: When did you start wrestling?
A: I started wrestling my freshman year of high school. So as of right now I have been wrestling for about 7 years.
Q: Who got you into wrestling?
A: My brother, Andy, wrestled for Stevenson and I remember watching him compete through out all of high school. As a little kid I wanted to be just like him. So when I finally had an opportunity to wrestle, and do what he did, I took advantage. I wanted to one up him in a way because I am pretty competitive.
Q: What brought you to UNI?
A: There are a couple of reasons on why I am here. UNI was my only shot at being able to wrestle for a Division 1 college. However the most important reason as to why I’m here is the way UNI and Cedar Falls makes me feel. Every time I came to UNI for tournaments in high school I loved the area and the chance to compete here was always an honor. Now that I am attending UNI I realize how much it feels like home, and how much better the people treat you than from where I came from.
Time at UNI
Q: What is your major?
A: I am double majoring in Marketing and in Communications.
Q: What is the most surprising thing you have experienced while wrestling at UNI?
A: Wrestling has such a huge following around the state, that really surprised me. Being from Illinois, some can make the claim that it is the best state for wrestling, but there is no real following. In Iowa I have been able to see that people are crazy about it. I remember seeing West Gym get packed for the first dual meet my Freshman year and I was in awe. I had never seen such a large crowd for a dual meet.
Career and Life Goals
Q: What do you want to do once you graduate, and what are you currently doing to get there?
A: In terms of my career I would like to get my masters, most likely in Marketing, and then work in UNI’s Athletic Marketing Department. As of right now I have an internship in the Athletic Marketing Department at UNI which has allowed me to grow my skills as a marketer.
Q: Besides your career what else do you want to do in your life?
A: I would like to be able to fish…all day, everyday. But more importantly my dream would be to get married and start a family while I am still pretty young. Mostly because I want to be really active when my children are growing up.
Q: What are your favorite parts about Iowa, as compared to Illinois?
A: I found that Iowa is not given a fair chance when people think of great places to live. I have always wanted to be more of an outdoors/country man, and that wasn’t really an option when I lived in a crowded town not too far from Chicago. Now that I live in Iowa I feel there are a lot more opportunities to do the things that I like: fishing, hiking, hunting to name a few. I also think Iowans are better at making people feel included in the community by being very polite and very down to earth which makes them easy to talk to as well.
Q: What is a difficult part about being in Iowa?
A: Being away from home is hard at times. An almost 5 hour drive makes it tough to make it home regularly. I feel bad for my Mother at times because she wants me to stay longer back home. By being the youngest she always tells me she never really had a lot of time to spend with me as compared to the other kids.
Q: What is something funny that has happened throughout your wrestling career that you will always remember?
A: I know it isn’t a single moment, but I think it is kind of funny/embarrassing. In high school, while warming up for matches, I would listen to “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift. You would assume that someone warming up to practically fight another guy would listen to something a lot more hardcore than some good ol’ T-Swift.
Also check out his roster profile here.