Pfarr embraces tradition

Both Brett and his brother, Chris, are wrestlers at Minnesota.

by Danny Chen

Tradition often starts when an individual wants to continue a passion and pass it on. In Brett Pfarr’s case, his father’s love for wrestling started a tradition for him and his brothers.

So for the redshirt sophomore, it was just natural that he wrestled.

“My dad wrestled in high school, and my older brother Matthew, who is four years older than me, wrestled at St. John’s [University],” Pfarr said. “I just went right into it, and it just took off.”

The take-off point for Pfarr was in fourth grade, and he still had a few memories from his early age.

“We had a wrestling mat, and we started using it for working out,” Pfarr said. “I remember memories of not wanting to do wrestling workouts that my dad wanted me to do.”

However, that reluctant manner in doing workouts stopped as he started to grow older.

“By the time I got into seventh grade, I started to take it real seriously,” Pfarr said. “I kind of took the training into my own hands.”

His serious training caught the eyes of many Division I schools when he got to high school.

“I had a lot of mail from a lot of schools out in the East, like Ivy League schools,” Pfarr said. [For example], Brown, Princeton and Columbia [University] were a few of them.

Despite the recognition that he received from other schools, deep down he only had one school in mind.

“I grew up as a Minnesota Gopher,” Pfarr said. “The program here is so distinguished and so successful. And it’s always been a dream of mine to wrestle for the Gophers.”

As a junior in high school, the Gophers first saw a glimpse of Pfarr’s wrestling abilities at the tournament in Virginia. He took fourth in the tournament, and then-head assistant coach Joe Russell began recruiting him.

Russell is no longer with the Gophers, but current head assistant coach Brandon Eggum remembers the things that he heard about Pfarr.

“Coming out of high school, he wasn’t the guy that had the most accolades compared to a blue-chip recruit,” Eggum said. “But you can see the other qualities and the work ethic that he had. Those are the type of kids that seem to fare well in our program.”

Family training room

Pfarr’s first mat was in a training room that his father converted from a machine shed.

“We started to accumulate stuff over the years for the [shed],” Pfarr said. “At first, we got a pretty big wrestling mat. Then, we started to get weight equipment and things of that nature. My dad then put in a corn stove that burns field corn [to generate heat].”

Pfarr called the training room the “wrestling dojo,” and he still trains there when he goes back home for break.

“[Redshirt freshman  brother Brett and I] hung out there all the time,” Pfarr said. “In the mornings, we would go there and get an hour or two of work out in.”

Life at Minnesota

Eggum described Pfarr as an outgoing person outside of wrestling, and he jokes around with Pfarr about his perfect haircut.

“He got it combed over real perfectly,” Eggum said, laughing.

Chris Pfarr added that he has always been jealous of his brother’s hair.

“Mine sticks up and looks like a puff ball,” Pfarr said. “His can roll out of bed and stay perfect.”

But the joking is all in good fun when it comes to his hair.

“They tease me and call me pretty boy,” Pfarr said with a chuckle. “They give me hard times, but it isn’t really anything serious.”

The teasing is evidence of a foundation Pfarr has found with a group of people who make him feel at home.

It’s a base that will help him carry on the family tradition his father started.

“[Pfarr] is stepping into a leadership role, and we expect big things from him,” Eggum said. “Our goal is always to win a national team title. Brett will be one of the key players for us to bring home a title to Minnesota.”