In today’s society, it’s not uncommon to see professional athletes who give back to the community.
For UW-Whitewater alumni Greg Reinhard, that’s exactly what he did.
Reinhard, who was a part of the 2005 National Champion UW-Whitewater baseball team, had a successful college career. He was the Division-III National Pitcher of the Year in 2005 and went 24-2 as a starter in three years. In 2005, he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the sixth round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft.
After his first year of professional baseball, Reinhard started helping kids and decided he really enjoyed it.
“I think after my first year of professional baseball, I started to do private lessons and a year ago started up a youth organization,” Reinhard said. “I got to the point where I really enjoyed what I was doing and if I can basically make a living to help kids become better baseball players and if it’s something I enjoy, I think it’s worth it.”
Using his six years of professional baseball experience, Reinhard recently opened up a year-round facility called the GRB Academy, which allows athletes to train all year round. The academy is located in Madison.
The facility, which had its grand opening in December, has a variety of training options for athletes.
“What it is, is basically a year-round training center for amateur or college athletes,” Reinhard said. “We have 10-year-old softball hitting groups, 13-year-old baseball hitting groups, and pitching groups. We also have individual lessons and a lot of private instruction.”
Reinhard said the facility also offers camps and clinics and has batting cages open for the public. The academy has 9,000 square feet of field turf for teams that don’t have a place to train.
Reinhard, who started the youth organization by himself, now has two more partners in Max Cordio, a former UW-Whitewater baseball player, and Brooks Graff, a former UW-Milwaukee baseball player.
Recently, former UW-Whitewater softball player Jessica Stang joined the staff because the academy decided to add softball lessons as well.
“Actually [Max] contacted me and I actually had met [him] from Whitewater,” Stang said. “He was on the baseball team and he contacted me because he knew I gave pitching lessons and was an actual pitching coach. He and Greg expressed that they needed a softball pitching coach and they were looking to expand their facility into baseball and softball.”
Stang, a two-time, All-American, said the decision to help didn’t take long because she loves helping athletes train to become better players. Stang also continues to help coach athletes around the Whitewater area.
“I do lessons as one way to stay involved with softball now that I can’t play at UW-Whitewater anymore,” Stang said. “It’s just a passion that I have helping the girls that have an interest in pitching and want to work hard. It’s something I plan on doing as my way to give back to the community and being able to be a part of softball still.”
After two months running, Reinhard said that the academy has exceeded his expectations.
“It’s been great and better than we expected,” Reinhard said. “I think the east side of Madison was a great choice.”