Nov. 29, 2012
Our new weekly feature "Behind the Bricks" allows DePaul letterwinners a chance to tell the DePaul community a little bit about themselves, a brief reflection on their time as a Blue Demon student-athlete and where they have gone since stepping off the court, field or diamond.
This feature was renamed "Behind the Bricks" to coincide with the dedication of the John and Dale Melbourne Herklotz Letterwinners Plaza and Champions Courtyard. With the plaza filled with 3,800 bricks representing DePaul's student-athletes since 1926, each brick has a story. "Behind the Bricks" will allow letterwinners to tell their "DePaul Story"
Name: Vanja Grgec
Sport: Men’s Tennis
Years Participated: 2006-2010
What does being a DePaul Letterwinner mean to you?
It is something I take great pride in because DePaul has given me so much over the course of my four years there. I am really thankful.
Why did you choose DePaul?
I chose DePaul because of Chicago and because I knew coming into the school that their Athletics Departments really took care of their student-athletes. It was the best decision I ever made.
What was your favorite memory while at DePaul?
My favourite memory at DePaul was beating Lousville in the BIG EAST Conference Championship semifinals 4-3. That was just absolutely legendary.
What did receiving a scholarship from DePaul mean to you?
It meant the world to me. My dream was to go to school in the United States on a tennis scholarship. And I remember when I first got the information that DePaul was interested in me. At that point it seemed almost impossible to me. I was really thankful and extremely happy for the opportunity. As I said. It literally meant the WORLD to me.
What was your funniest memory at DePaul?
One of my funniest moments was when me and the boys decided to improvise the talent show my senior year. We decided to go topless and just sort of dance it out. That was on the border line with tragedy and comedy (haha!)
Brief Summary of your life from graduation till now:
After I graduated I worked for KPMG for two whole months until I decided it was defintely not the life that I wanted. I am a free soul. I like entrepreneurship and being my own boss. So I really got into strength and conditioning and got myself in great shape. After finishing school and competitive tennis, I found myself in a black hole. Competition was my life. So I am currently one of the better CrossFit athletes in the region, and I also actively compete in Street Workout which is a young sport in the making. I currently work as a CrossFit LVL 1 trainer and a Health Coach in cooperation with Herbalife. I also became Mister Croatia in 2011. Basically I am living my dream. I am my own boss, and I am working on my fortune by helping other people change their lives for the better through better nutrition and physical exercise.
Is there a recent highlight that you would like to share with Alumni and friends of DePaul Athletics?
I am currently at the Mister World Competition representing Croatia in Kent, England where I am competing for the title of “The World’s Most Desirable Man”.
What advice would you give to a current or future student-athlete?
Cherish each day at DePaul. A beautiful life awaits you after finishing school but you will always have a special place in your memory for those four years that you have spent at DePaul. It is really even hard to find the right words how beautiful and great the experience was. Thank you DePaul for making me the man I am today.