Getting to know Elite Staff, Brandon Tenner
Posted on 26 July 2016
We want you to get to know out Elite and Pro staff members because they embody the Archery Squad lifestyle. Brandon is a perfect example of this! Here is Brandon's background:
"I have been immersed in the sport of archery my entire life. Everyone in my family shot, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, you name it. I was the youngest of 2 boys, my brother being 2 years older than I am. When my brother was 5 my dad started teaching him how to shoot. Naturally, I wanted to learn how too. Growing up in Wisconsin we traveled to tournaments every weekend, indoors in the winter, 3D and broadhead in the summer. In the fall my dad would take us to fields in the evenings so we could watch the deer come out and feed. It was an awesome childhood. As we got older the competitions got more intense, local tournaments became state tournaments, and our family started getting recognized.
After winning a couple state titles shooting a compound bow a family friend suggested I try the Olympic recurve. He ran a local JOAD program and said I could use one of his bows for the summer. I immediately liked the challenge the recurve brought. In order to shoot a good shot there was much more skill and focus required. By the end of the summer I was hooked and bought my first competition recurve. The following year my coach took me to Indoor Nationals where I placed 3rd, and Outdoor Nationals where I placed 6th. The Olympic spark was lit.
I went to college at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. It is located in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. While there I was the president of the Archery Club, competing in the college division of USA Archery. During my 5 summers home from school I was fortunate to land a job working on the production floor of Mathews Inc. I helped build bows! I graduated from MTU in 2005 with 2 degrees, one in Business - Management Information Systems, the other in Science and Technical Communications specializing in graphic design.
In 2006 a job opportunity came up to work at BowTech Archery in Oregon as a Production Planner. I worked with the inventory specialists to see what we could build and then set the weekly work schedules. Due to company layoffs the job didn't last too long but I loved Oregon and had met my future wife so I decided to stick it out and see what life would bring me.
From 2007 to 2015 I worked as a graphic designer for a agricultural newspaper in Salem, Oregon. For a while I didn't have the time or a place to shoot so archery took a back burner. We moved to a new apartment and our building manager saw my bows and asked if I could help him get back into the sport. He had an indoor and outdoor range and just like that, I was shooting again!
Once I got going it was like I never quit. My Olympic spark was back and burning brighter than ever. I set up a plan leading up to the Rio trials and went to work. I traveled to as many national tournaments as I could and also chose to start shooting the Vegas Shoot, one of the largest indoor tournaments in the world. In 3 years I won 3 marked 3D national titles, and finished in the top 15 of the first flight in Vegas every year. I went to the Olympic trials in College Station, Texas and finished 77th out of roughly 200 shooters. It was a great experience and showed me what I need to do to be ready for Tokyo in 2020.
In 2012 I was asked to be an assistant coach for the Oregon State University Archery Club. They were new and ambitious to create a traveling team. After the first year I moved up to Head Coach and have been helping them build their program ever since. I have also been developing a JOAD program through my local club, Sylvan Archers. We have a mixture of kids and adults that range anywhere from beginners and recreational shooters to future Olympians. I love being able to give back to a sport that has done so much for me.
Last June an opportunity came up for me to quit my graphic design job and teach archery full time in a local archery shop, Archers Afield. I teach lessons, instruct classes and give seminars and also work with people to set up their equipment and teach them how to shoot it. It is my dream job and I love it. I look forward to going to work every day.
In my spare time I teach lessons too. I was certified as a Level 3 NTS Coach last year and have been using the knowledge I have gained to boost the archery community in Oregon. We have a strong Olympic and traditional archery community in Portland and I am trying to do my part to help it grow.
I didn't forget my roots though! I still like being in the outdoors and love to hunt. I have tried hunting elk and deer in Oregon but haven't been successful yet. It is a lot different than hunting Wisconsin whitetails! Fortunately for me 3 generations of my family hunt together every year in Wisconsin. I have been blessed to be able to come home the past couple of years to spend a week bowhunting with them. I love getting the chance to hunt with my cousins, my dad and uncle, and my grandparents (who are both in their 80's!) I would not trade that quality family time for anything in the world. Last year was the best year we have ever had. Between 6 of us we got 8 deer in 8 days, with everyone harvesting at least one. It is a week I will cherish forever."
Make sure to follow Brandon on social media! He is constantly posting about his archery journey.