All-time hits leader and five-time all-star, Jonathan Brouse on his induction to the Hawk Hall of Fame

Photo by Darien Funk

“To be one of the people going into the Hall of Fame and to be alongside some of those other names that I’m being inducted with is very humbling.” 

Jonathan Brouse, one of the most productive players to wear the purple and gold across all of Laurier sports has cemented his legacy with the Hawks after being inducted into the 2021 Hall of Fame class. 

The five-time OUA all-star and 2014 President’s trophy winner as top male athlete will become just the second Golden Hawk baseball player to be inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame, following Ryan Panas induction in 2019.  

The baseball outfielder achieved a long list of accomplishments and awards during his five-year playing career and is arguably one of the most decorated student-athletes to play under Coach Scott Ballantyne and the men’s baseball program. 

“The two words I would say are honoured and humbled,” Brouse said upon hearing the news of his induction into the class.  

“I felt very honoured and very humbled because there were so many awesome athletes at Laurier the same time that I was there,” he continued. 

Brouse will join the 2004 Yates Cup football team, legendary men’s hockey coach, Wayne Gowing and five other talented student-athletes as part of the distinguished 2021 Hall of Fame class.

The outfielder from Port Perry, Ontario joined the Golden Hawks baseball program in 2011 and immediately delivered, being named an OUA first-team all-star and the OUA rookie of the year in his first season. 

Brouse was a force offensively and a great defensive asset in the outfield, leading Laurier to their first ever championship in 2013. His Laurier numbers display an astounding .352 batting average, and his 135 career hits are both the most in Golden Hawk history and in the history of Ontario university baseball. 

He was able to be an OUA all-star in five seasons, the top hitter in the OUA in 2016 and won an academic achievement award in his senior season. Brouse won three gold gloves throughout his five seasons and was named along with 17 other members to the Golden Hawks all-decade baseball team from 2010-2020 by Coach Ballantyne. 

Coach Ballantyne, who has built an incredibly successful program in his near two decades with the men’s baseball team was extremely happy for Brouse, describing him as “one of the best all-around people you will ever come across.” 

The bond between a player and a coach is truly one of the most special things in sport. Ballantyne and Brouse shared a special bond, with Brouse crediting the coach for having a “tremendous” impact on his success, both athletically and academically with Laurier.  

“He is the best coach and the best person I have ever played for,” Brouse said of Ballantyne. 

“I would describe him very similar to the way he describes me. Him saying that I am one of the best people he’s ever coached, well I think that’s what the program breeds and it all starts with Scott,” Brouse continued. 

“Scott has always preached that you are a person before an athlete and a student before an athlete… He’s been such a role model to me, and I am extremely lucky to have played for him.” 

Brouse undoubtedly left his mark on the program with his individual stats and accomplishments, yet more impressive than that was his talent as a teammate and a leader. After graduating from Laurier with his kinesiology degree, Brouse became an assistant coach with the program, working under Ballantyne and winning two more provincial championships in 2018 and 2019. 

Throughout the past decade, the baseball program at Laurier has been one of its most successful teams across all their varsity sports – much to the credit of Coach Ballantyne and several impressive athletes such as Jonathan Brouse. 

Brouse characterized the program as a mixture of talented student-athletes with even better personalities guiding the talent towards success. 

“I played with some tremendous teammates over the years. The program is elite quality, run by amazing people, which turns into success,” he said. 

The hall of famer’s favourite memory with Laurier is easily the first championship that was won in 2013. He points to the excitement of the victory and how special the win was for his team, with many seniors graduating following that season. 

“That first one was extra special. The program had been close, but had never won a championship before,” Brouse said. 

“To see the enjoyment on Ballantyne and the coaches’ faces was something that I will never forget, and I’ve been lucky enough to do it two more times as a coach with the program,” he continued. 

Following his kinesiology undergrad, Brouse went into the post-grad teaching degree program at Laurier and is currently working with the Waterloo Region District School Board, fulfilling his career dreams of becoming a teacher.

With three championships, an MVP award, an academic award and all-time records to his name, Brouse undoubtedly made his mark on the Laurier baseball program and Golden Hawk sport. 

The remarkable baseball student, athlete and leader has now rightfully earned his spot in Golden Hawk history, alongside his six fellow inductees and countless other Golden Hawk greats.

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