April 23, 2004
In the Limelight
Krumpotitch is unlikely links star
Generally, when I picture a golfer, I envision a scrawny nerd who only became a golfer because he couldn't make the cuts for any other sport.
However, senior John Krumpotich silences any stereotype I have previously held about golfers.
How could someone who is 6-feet, 3-inches tall, and weighs close to 300 pounds excel at what many would call the graceful game of golf?
Everything about the men's golf team captain, Krumpotich, points toward him being an offensive lineman on the football team, but for some reason, he's chosen to stick with golf, and for Susquehanna it's been a very good thing.
During his junior and senior years in high school, Krumpotich was heavily recruited by Division-I football schools, and his dream was to attend Syracuse to play football. He was well on his way to reaching that dream until numerous concussions his senior year ended his scholarship hopes. At that point, he decided to attend Susquehanna.
"Originally, I was very disappointed that I was here at Susquehanna," Krumpotich said. "I thought that I should have been playing big-time football, and that my injuries robbed me of my dreams. But now, after four years, I have grown to love Susquehanna and all of the people around it."
With a history of football, basketball and baseball, Krumpotich made a smooth transition to playing golf at Susquehanna. He and senior Buddy Yarger have led the men's golf team since their start at Susquehanna.
"I've known Krump since day one of freshman year and have found that he's the kind of kid who just doesn't let things bother him," senior roommate Brian Neuwirth said. "He's a simple man with simple pleasures. He's a big guy that leads by example. I know every year the golf team has to do a run that goes down then back up the mountain at the Susquehanna Valley Golf Course -- Krump has and never will win this race, but he's always out there and he makes it more fun."
Krumpotich said golf is an individual sport, and if you mess up, it's nobody else's fault but your own.
"The hardest thing about golf is that I can't play with raw emotions," Krumpotich said. "I have to stay calm or things can go really bad. My strongest and weakest asset is my stubbornness."
Despite his weaknesses, Krumpotich was named All-American, All-Regional at nationals last year, and has won several tournaments.
"Krump is bigger than everyone else," senior roommate Scott Hodgson said. "One looks at him and is usually intimidated by him. He stands 6 feet 3 inches tall -- that's intimidating. He has a loud truck, and everyone knows which one it is. When he walks out of a building to head toward North parking lot, you can see about five cars dart toward his Yukon."
According to Hodgson, Krumpotich demands respect and he doesn't sugar-coat things -- he tells you how it is whether you like it or not.
Although "Krump," as his friends like to call him, may put on an intimidating front, he holds some dynamic characteristics that many people may not know about because they run away from him before they can experience his warmer side.
"Krump is on the phone for hours a day with his girlfriend. Brian and I don't use the phone at all," Hodgson said. "Whenever the phone rings, we pretty much make him answer it because we know it's not for us. He also sings like an angel and has a real flare for cooking quiche. No, just kidding, in all seriousness, he's a genuine guy. He's a man's man -- he loves the outdoors, as long as it doesn't require too much movement, and he loves meat."
According to Hodgson, Krumpotich is known around campus for helping people with his mechanical skills.
"If you've ever seen the movie 'Pay It Forward,' that's the philosophy Krump lives his life by," Hodgson said. "If he's asked to do someone a favor, he can't say no. Sometimes he really should, but he belives that he should help people when he can and in turn, hopefully, they will do the same for others. An example of this is with cars -- we often joke about how much work he does for others on cars saying, 'just drop the keys off in the mailbox and I'll fix it.'"
Krumpotich said one of the biggest influences in his life has been his grandfather.
"If I could spend a day with anyone famous or not, I would spend one more day with my grandpa who recently passed away," Krumpotich said.
"He worked as a drywall layer most of his life, coming home with bloody hands. He taught me the value of blue-collar labor and getting your hands dirty, which I don't think many people appreciate anymore. He taught me to be tough and strong, and to not let anything get in my way. He and my dad are my two heroes, and if I could spend one more day fishing with both of them, that's what I would do, nothing could top that. Nothing," he said.
Another support system in Krumpotich's life has been his family.
"My dad taught me to be tough but smart, and he has always been there for me no matter what," Krumpotich said. "I had some very difficult times growing up, but my dad always took care of me -- he almost never missed a sporting event or any event I've been in, and there's been a ton over the years and that has meant so much to me."
Krumpotich, a finance and marketing major, sees himself working in the financial industry after graduation, probably on the brokerage end.
"Coach Harnum always tells us that people 10 years from now won't remember how good of a golfer you were," Holt said. "Instead, they'll remember you for how good of a person you are. Krump is the kind of guy you will remember as a great person first, and along the way he played golf here."
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