Schweitzer hopes viral video brings a laugh in unsettled times

He may be a viral video star, but Brandon Schweitzer has somehow managed to remain humble.

“How slow has the sports world gotten,” Schweitzer mused, “that ESPN is featuring an out-of-shape, balding principal?”

Fame, no doubt fleeting but still fame, has touched Polk County High School’s principal thanks to a recent video shot by head football coach Bruce Ollis.

While perusing Twitter one recent day, Ollis found a clip of an Alabama high school principal visiting the school’s weightlifting class and accepting a challenge to bench press 225 pounds.

Ollis wasted no time in retweeting that video and tagging Schweitzer.

“Bruce sent me a message that you’ve been challenged,” Schweitzer said.

And, a few days before North Carolina schools closed for the global coronavirus pandemic, Schweitzer not only met that challenge, but bettered it, pressing 225 pounds five times.

Man didn’t even take off his tie.

“I think that’s the first time I’ve touched a weight in three years,” Schweitzer said. “I paid for that. I felt good when I finished, but two days later I was struggling.”

Ollis put the video on Instagram and tagged ESPN, and soon Schweitzer’s effort had the good kind of viral embrace.

It was just a bit more exposure than Schweitzer’s first brush with SportsCenter highlight revelry.

“When I was at South Carolina we ran a kickoff back against Virginia,” he said. “You can see me in the corner of the screen making a block.”

ESPN glory has prompted some of Schweitzer’s teammates from those college days to reach out and offer some, um, good-natured ribbing.

“I’ve heard from several teammates from my college days at South Carolina and Gardner-Webb,” Schweitzer said. “They’ve reached out and said, ‘hey, what happened to you? You’ve gone downhill.'”

Schweitzer has actually resumed running of late – “maybe something good will come from getting blasted on the national stage” – and hopes perhaps those who have viewed his clip, in these most uncertain and unsettled of times, may have benefitted a bit as well.

“If it made someone smile for a few seconds, then it was worth it,” Schweitzer said.