Brad Gerick was a four-year letterwinner on the Mount men's golf team from 2005-10. After redshirting in his second year at the Mount, Gerick was the Mount's top golfer at the NEC Championships in his final two seasons and was named to the NEC All-Tournament team in 2009 after placing ninth in the event. In addition to his time on the golf course, Gerick was also the men's basketball team manager for five years, including during the 2008 NEC Tournament title season. He was also an active member of the Mountain Echo. Gerick currently works for Patch.com and is the Social Media Manger for the network of hyperlocal websites and is living in New York. You can follow him on Twitter @BradGerick.
Give an update on what you have been up to since graduating from the Mount.
I began working as an editor for Patch.com in the summer of 2010, finished my MBA the next spring while on the job, and have been here ever since. After working in three different positions in Maryland, I recently transferred to our headquarters in Manhattan where I am the Social Media Manager for the company. It's a lot different than Emmitsburg, but I love it. I travel a lot, too. I was recently in St. Louis, Chicago, LA and Seattle, among other places, with Detroit and San Diego on the schedule. We're in more than 20 states, so there's a lot of opportunity for me to get in the field and meet with editors. Unfortunately, I haven't played much golf for about a year now. I didn't even move my clubs up here – it would be kind of a pain to lug them on the subway, plus it's hard to face the reality that I'm not as good as I was in college.
You work in the media. How has social media changed in media and in what direction to do think social media is going?
Social media has made people much more reactionary and raised expectations of how quickly we receive information. This has proved problematic, like when people are prematurely reported dead – Paterno, Mubarak – or when CNN and FOX News couldn't get the Supreme Court health care ruling correct. Unfortunately, the misinformation spreads faster and further than any correction, so it's something everyone has to guard against. That being said, the upside to social media far outweighs the downside. Right now my favorite platforms are Twitter and Instagram. If I had Instagram in college, there would have been some much cooler photos in my Facebook albums from all those long study nights, of course.
After living in Maryland for the majority of your life, what is it like to live and work in a major city like New York?
I love living and working in New York City because the pace is so much faster. My (tiny) apartment is in Queens, but just one stop from Grand Central Station across the East River, so everything is easily accessible. I got a little tired or rural towns like Pylesville, Emmitsburg and Bel Air, plus I can always go back to visit. I do look forward to having easy access to games at Long Island and St. Francis (N.Y.) in Brooklyn, though. Staten Island's a little bit of a haul, but I'm sure I'll get to Wagner at some point, too. I hope to be living and working up here for a while.
How did Mount St. Mary's prepare you for the real world?
Because the Mount is such a small school, it's easy to get involved in a lot of opportunities. The last thing I wanted to do was go to a small school with bad winters, but once I ended up in Emmitsburg, it grew on me. It sounds cliché, but I really think the high volume of personal relationships I had in college prepared me for myriad real-world situations. Plus all that travel for golf and basketball made me an expert in packing and getting through security quickly.
What was your most memorable experience at the Mount athletically?
It would be difficult to choose one experience. As for playing on the golf team, it would have either been my double-eagle in the first round of the Rutgers tournament my fifth year en route to a 72, or my birdie-birdie finish at conferences in my senior year to shoot 72 and finish ninth and make the Tournament All-NEC team. As for basketball, even as a manager, nothing could top the night we beat Sacred Heart to win the NEC Championship. Best night of my life.
What was your most non-athletic memorable experience at the Mount?
I think there were a lot of late nights (walking back a cross campus at 6:30 a.m. as the sun came up, then going to class at 8 a.m.) working as the sports and managing editor at the school newspaper that were a lot of fun. That experience definitely got my foot in the door with Patch, which has been going well ever since. I would also say the Tiki Dance my freshman year was basically amazing and I'm accepting invites to come back this fall.
This season will mark the five-year anniversary of the 2008 NEC Men's Basketball Tournament Championship team? What are some of your favorite memories from that season?
I loved how we kept getting pegged as the underdog late in the season, yet continued to prevail (until we ran into North Carolina). Road trips really made us closer as a team. Meeting Erin Andrews wasn't a bad perk either. Being a part of Coach Brown's program really taught me about overcoming adversity and working hard to achieve goals. That was reflected throughout his staff and all the players, too. I know Coach Christian is going to instill the same values in his own way and I can't wait to see the team in action and back on the winning path.
During your golf career at the Mount, you help to start the success that culminated with the NEC Championship in 2012. Did you see signs when you were here that you thought could lead to a title?
As a men's golf alum, how proud where you of the golf team last year? It was really exciting to see the team win the title this year, and honestly, I predicted it in the fall when I talked to Kevin Farrell about how they were playing. I knew Danny Michalek was a solid leader who could mentor the talented younger players to reach their potential. It was also cool to see Ryan Triller play so well as a freshman since we went to the same high school. They're very talented and I fully expect them to be competitive for years to come, especially with all the resources and support we get from Quail Valley Golf Course. It hurts that I never got to play in NCAAs, but if my teammates and I helped lay any of the groundwork for the current players to experience that glory, then it was all worth it.
Looking back at your time at the Mount, what advice would you give to current Mount students or someone looking to come to the Mount?
I should start by saying the Mount was one of my last choices for school, and I was planning to transfer after a year or two. I had a similar attitude with Patch, because I didn't know much about the company and planned to use it as a steppingstone to something "better." Little did I know, in both cases, I had the something "better" all along, and I sincerely believe that. So I guess my advice is, keep an open mind and make the most of what you have. You never know when the thing you want least now will be your biggest blessing in the long run.