Cullowhee, N.C. – Coming off its first victory of the season last weekend with the 20-17 win over North Greenville, Western Carolina enters its bye week in preparation for running the gauntlet the remainder of the regular season – nine-consecutive weeks of competition, seven of which will be spent in Southern Conference play.

And though his squad does not play a game this weekend, WCU football head coach Mark Speir has stressed that this week is anything but an “off week” for his team.

“I do feel that this open week comes at a great time. We are going to use this week to get healthy and to get The Cats’ better – and we’re going work the dog on special teams,” said Speir both following the game and Monday night in the live-on-location Catamount Football Weekly coaches show held at BC Outdoors Cullowhee Taproom.

Speir indicated that his squad will take a few extra days off to recoup tired bodies after seven-consecutive weeks of work including preseason camp and the first three games of 2019. WCU next travels to Chattanooga for its first league road test of the season on Saturday, Sept. 28 at UTC’s Finley Stadium.

Tickets for Western Carolina’s next home game – Saturday, Oct. 5 vs. Gardner-Webb on Family Weekend – are available now through the Catamount Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Ramsey Center, by phone at (800) 34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401, or online at

To fill the void during this year’s bye week, returns to the "Get to Know" features on WCU football seniors. Up next is Brandon Bawn, a senior defensive back from Macon, Ga. Bawn transferred to WCU from Georgia Military College prior to the 2018 season, playing in all 11 games last fall with a pair of starts in finishing with 10 total tackles. He suffered a shoulder injury during the 2019 preseason camp that has him sidelined this year.

Name: Brandon Bawn

Major: Entrepreneurship



What is your nickname?

Bawn: BJ


What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Bawn: Vanilla


What is your favorite animal at the zoo?

Bawn: Penguins


Which team do you pick in Madden?

Bawn: Atlanta Falcons


What is your favorite off-season activity?

Bawn: Playing video games.


If you were a superhero, what powers would you want?

Bawn: To be able to fly.


What is your favorite holiday?

Bawn: Christmas.


Which teammate makes you laugh the most?

Bawn: Jarquavius Wortham.


What celebrity would you most like to meet?

Bawn: Kyrie Irving.


What three words or phrases would your teammates use to describe you as a person?

Bawn: Silly, chill, and respectful.


What motivates you to work hard?

Bawn: My father.


Who are the most important people in your life?

Bawn: My mother and father.


As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Bawn: A professional NFL football player.


What is the best advice you were ever given?

Bawn: “Never give up.”


What position do you play – and what is the one key thing to know about playing that position?

Bawn: Safety (S) – you must know what everyone else is doing on defense.


If you weren’t playing football, what sport would you have played in college?

Bawn: Baseball.


One major goal for the 2019 football season?

Bawn: To win a championship ring.


What made you choose Western Carolina University?

Bawn: It’s the best school in the Southern Conference.


What’s been your favorite class at WCU?

Bawn: My internship.


What’s your favorite part about being a student-athlete at Western Carolina?

Bawn: Getting to know the other sports student-athletes so well.


What’s the most challenging thing about being a student-athlete at Western Carolina?

Bawn: Balancing classes and athletics responsibilities.


What is your favorite thing about home games in Cullowhee?

Bawn: The fans!


What does #CatamountCountry mean to you?

Bawn: The very best place to be on game day.


What is your favorite quote or saying from WCU head football coach Mark Speir?

Bawn: “Never grow weary.” – Galatians 6:9


What does it mean to play in front of a large home-game crowd in Cullowhee?

Bawn: It means you must bring in a win for all the fans who came out to support you.


What has been your favorite athletics moment at Western Carolina?

Bawn: Soon to be, winning the SoCon Championship!


What will you miss MOST about being a Catamount student-athlete?

Bawn: All the other Catamounts I have met while I’ve been here.


What does your athletic scholarship mean to you?

Bawn: That I must work as hard as possible.


What message would you like to send to the Catamount Nation?

Bawn: Go Cats!