Brian Grundy is a current Cornell Captain from Austin Texas, D Line handler who uses his length to get around marks. He’s been a staple on Cornell for a couple of years now and will be one of the taller handlers, at 6’3”, that you’ll see in Boulder. One of the reason Cornell is back for third year in a row is the defense and throws by number 47.
What was your introduction into Ultimate?
I started playing my junior year of high school. We had a team but it was essentially just pick up once a week, and we would play like 15 on 15… So really the only thing i got out of it was an introduction and how to throw a backhand and flick. It was mainly just a group of my friends that started playing but from there I started playing summer league which is what got me hooked.
What is your sports background and how did those skills transition into ultimate?
In high school I was mainly committed as the captain of the cross country team and the tennis team. So I was fairly athletic and picked up ultimate because I loved running around and hanging out with my friends. Nothing really translated well from my other sports to ultimate other than some good motor skills. It took a while to transition from cross country running into sprinting and cutting.
Tell us about your journey into Bud’s Ultimate.
Im from Austin, Texas and once I started playing ultimate, I got a taste of College ultimate by watching TUFF and going to watch at Centex. So once I came to Cornell I decided I wanted to play competitive college ultimate. My freshmen year I really didn’t have the skill set or the speed to make the Buds and played my first semester and a half on the shake working on my throws and figuring out the flow of the game. This is where I first started handling, despite being tall, because I was one of the better players on the shake. The Buds called me up from the shake mid season after spring break my freshman year. Essentially just for the series. It was a rough transition because I had to quickly learn their system and I became a freshman cutter which I hadn’t been doing. That year i obviously didnt play much for the Buds but I learned a ton just watching. Sophomore year I started my transition back to handling but ended up being essentially second string. I saw very little playing time at nationals in 2009 and I used it as motivation to get better over the summer. That summer I practice with Doublewide back in Texas and played on a club team with a bunch of current TUFF players and worked out more than I had before. I came back to Cornell my Junior year much faster and earned a spot on the starting D-line. That year, I was extremely defensive minded and went out onto the field to earn a D each time. Last year is when Bo Li and I really meshed as the core of the D-line handlers and work extremely well now because of all our playing time together. I am definitely the quietest of the captains and try to lead by example as best as I can. When I am on the field, I am focused on my guy and hope that the other six players are doing the same. This year my roll on the D-line is to not only get D’s but also be the hitch for once we get the turn. It has been my job to get the disc as much as I can and keep things moving to convert the break.
What is life like outside of Ultimate?
Outside of Ultimate I am a Biology major hoping to go to Med school in a few years. So yeah there is a good amount of time commitment for school. I am also in a frat at Cornell and held an officer position for a year that took up a bunch of my time and often split my time between my frat and the team. But I have always found time for ultimate, and honestly playing ultimate is my way of getting away and relaxing.
What’s the plan after College? Plan to stay involved in Ultimate?
Haven’t really decided what I want to do after college ultimate… Currently I got into a masters program here at Cornell so will likely be playing a 5th year at Cornell, but beyond that I’m not certain. I would love to continue playing but I haven’t really determined to what extent. Whether it be really competitive or pick up and summer league. Im guessing at some point pick up and summer league wont be enough for me in the future and I will want to be competitive. But it all kinda depends on my non ultimate plans.