Each week, we will showcase one of our CAHNRS Ambassadors, a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. This week, we’re featuring Brandon Knodel, a senior from Lind, Wash.
UPDATE March 1, 2017:
Brandon was recently unveiled as Butch T. Cougar for the 2016-17 season. This is a tremendous honor, as well as a huge commitment. We asked Brandon a few questions, which he has kindly answered here. Go Cougs!
What was your favorite part of being Butch?
My favorite part about being Butch was definitely the fans. I was able to see the best in every single Coug fan. I loved being able to see people’s smiles and laughs. I loved every picture, selfie, high five, and hug. You could tell the passion each Coug had for the crimson and grey. It made the whole experience worth it every time I put the head on. Every experience I had was different and an adventure. Coug fans are the best.
What was it like being on the field for events, or leading those cheers?
Incredible. Something I really cannot describe. Growing up a Coug and idolizing Butch, then actually being him, made it that much more special. The atmosphere that our fans create makes it amazing. I would get anxious every time I stepped out on the field or court. It’s a feeling that I will never forget.
How hard was it to keep the secret?
It is beyond hard to keep the secret. However, the tradition of keeping Butch a secret is extremely important to me and so worth it. Butch is so great because we never know who is behind the mask, he’s just Butch. The secret humbles you and makes you live in the present moment because no one else can know. You are able to focus on the people and moments right in front of you.
What are 1 or 2 highlights from your year being Butch? Things that really stand out, or that you’ll always remember?
One of the biggest things I’ll always remember is the first time I rode out of the tunnel on the Spyder to midfield and led 40,000 Cougs in a “Go Cougs” chant. That is a feeling like none other. I was so nervous, yet excited at the same time. Being Butch, I was able to see the true Coug in everyone. The passion and pride that we hold dear to us is indescribable. Seeing everyone’s smiles and laughs will forever fill my heart.
Why did you want to be Butch?
Honestly, it started as kind of a joke. For as long as I can remember, I have been a huge Coug fan. I come from a family of Cougs and grew up loving Butch. However, here at school, a couple of my friends were like, “Hey Brandon, you should try out for Butch! You’d be good at it!” So, I tried out thinking I’d never get it but, sure enough, I did. And it consumed me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would become my life and something I would grow a deep passion for. I love being a Coug.
Any advice for the next Butch?
Enjoy every single minute of it. Relish in the moment. It goes by in a blink of an eye. Keep your head down and do it for the fans because they deserve the best. Don’t ever do it for yourself. Our fans are the real backbone of Cougar Nation. Focus on the fan.
Ok, back to Brandon’s original profile, posted in September, 2016:
What are you studying?
I’m majoring in Agricultural Technology and Production Management, with a minor in Business Administration
What is a fun fact about you?
I drink my coffee black.
WSU has always held a special place in my heart. I love everything from Cougar football Saturdays to the pride around campus. WSU is a place for everyone.
What is special about being a CAHNRS Coug?
The special part about being a CAHNRS Coug is the amount of opportunity available. There is always something on campus going on or for you to participate it. The staff and faculty with in CAHNRS truly care about your success and want you to have the very best.
Where do you want to be (professionally or personally) 10 years after you graduate?
Wow, 10 years from now? 10 years from now, I would like to see myself as a successful individual who is passionate about what I am doing and making a difference in this world.
Favorite class you have taken within CAHNRS so far? Why?
Crop Science 305 – learning how to calibrate sprayers and identify weeds are skills that have real life applications in an area that I am passionate about.
What extracurricular activities have you been involved in within CAHNRS (excluding ambassadors)?
AgTM Club, Econ Club
Favorite Ferdinand’s flavor of ice cream?
Apple Cup Crisp