When Rex Kendle took his first class at Michigan State University (MSU), there were more students in that one classroom than there were in his high school in Edwardsburg, Mich., a town of 1100 people.
Rex was equally awestruck when he first stepped onto the Baylor campus. A four-time All-Academic Big Ten wrestler at MSU, Rex first heard about Baylor from head wrestling coach, Ben Nelson. Surprised to learn that there was a successful program at a Southern school—wrestling is a much bigger sport in the Midwest—Rex was even more surprised when he arrived to interview in Chattanooga. “Never in my wildest imagination would I have dreamed that schools like Baylor existed. The facilities are unreal compared to a traditional Midwest high school, and so many faculty members have advanced degrees; it’s hard to believe it’s a high school.”
Rex, who was an Academic All-American in his senior year, knew early in his college career that “teaching was where I was supposed to be.” He earned a biology degree with a minor in chemistry and then spent a year teaching both biology and chemistry (and coaching wrestling) at a Michigan high school as part of an internship. At the end of that fifth year of study, Rex received his teaching certificate from MSU and credits towards a master’s degree. He plans to complete his master’s degree over the next few years.
In addition to wrestling and science, Rex likes to hike, camp, and hunt. He is a college football fanatic, and Notre Dame is definitely his team.
Although he wasn’t looking for a Southern school or an independent school, Rex could not be happier about his appointment at Baylor. “This is an amazing place.”
Appointed 2010, 2016
Written by Rachel Schulson, 2010