Second Act: UISRM Feature - B.J. Hermsen

BJ Hermsen with parents

A 2008 graduate of West Delaware High School and youth baseball standout, B.J. Hermsen led the Hawks to the Iowa 2007 3A State Baseball Championship. The following spring and a month after his high school graduation, the Minnesota Twins drafted B.J. in the sixth round of the 2008 amateur draft. As he had previously committed to attend Oregon State University on a baseball scholarship, B.J. was faced with a difficult decision: attend OSU and continue his baseball development while furthering his education or realize his dream of playing baseball professionally.

B.J. ultimately decided to pursue his dream and signed with the Twins organization. However, before signing with the Twins, B.J.’s mother recommended that as a part of the contract, he request that his future college education be paid for by the Twins organization. B.J.’s mother, a high school educator, valued education and wanted to make sure that B.J. had the opportunity to pursue a college education when his playing days had ended. The MLB College Scholarship Plan was included in B.J.’s contract, allowing B.J. to focus on pursuing his dream of playing professional baseball.

BJ Hermsen pitchingB.J. retired from professional baseball in 2015 after an eight-year career. The highlight of his pro baseball career came following the 2012 season when he was named the best pitcher in the Twins minor league system.

At the conclusion of his baseball career, he began his post-secondary education at Northeast Iowa Community College. In 2017, B.J. transferred to the University of Iowa as a full-time online student. His background and newfound interest of becoming a high school athletic director fit perfectly with the B.S. in Sport and Recreation Management online program.

Having recently graduated, B.J. earned the UISRM Interscholastic A.D. certificate which qualifies him to serve as an Activities and Athletics Director in the state of Iowa. To earn the certificate, he completed a field experience internship (pictured right) during the Fall 2018 Semester with Dave Litterer, Athletic Director at Waverly-Shell Rock High School. B.J. currently serves as a paraprofessional educator in the Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District and coaches two sports for the Go-Hawks. He is an assistant boys’ basketball coach and the sophomore baseball coach.

BJ Hermsen at computerB.J. took full advantage of his mother’s recommendation and earned a Bachelor of Science degree via UISRM’s online program. In addition, he is a positive role model, educator and leader for the students in the Waverly-Shell Rock school district.

After accomplishing his goal of playing professional baseball in 2008, B.J. is perfectly positioned to achieve his second career aspiration in the not too distant future. This second career goal is to serve as an athletic director for a high school in the state of Iowa.

Keep working hard B.J. and good luck!


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