Out of the courtroom and onto the field

By Matthew Stefanski


Personal injury attorney by day, baseball coach by night. This isn’t a mixture of “Law and Order” and “The Bad News Bears,” but the typical life of Victory Christian Academy (VCA) head baseball coach Ryan Bratcher.

Bratcher originally went to Vincennes University to pursue a degree in Law Enforcement, but changed his major because of a high-profile television trial. “I decided I would much rather do that kind of work that work odd hours as a police officer. They were televising the OJ Simpson trial which peaked my interest in law,” said Bratcher.

Over a decade later, Bratcher and fellow lawyer Kevin Vanderground founded law firm, Bratcher and Vanderground, P.C. Bratcher and Vanderground generally focus on per-sonal injury and auto accident cases. Bratcher was also admitted to practice in all Indiana courts as well as the Northern and Southern District courts in Indiana. Bratcher also became a part-time prosecutor in Starke County. Among all achievements in his law career, Bratcher is most proud of becoming a member of the Indiana State Bar Association.

In the fall of 2010, Bratcher began a job that has given him a chance to relive his past. He was made head baseball coach at VCA. “Baseball was a huge part of my childhood. Anytime my friends and I got together, we had to either play or watch baseball,” said Bratcher.

He takes the game of baseball seriously and expects the most out of his players. “When it comes to the game of baseball stressing the importance of fundamentals and doing things the right way helps out the players. I expect a lot out of my players, but I think my level of expectation for them is attainable,” said Bratcher.

Bratcher also tries to influence his players’ actions off of the field. “I think mentoring is done more through example than words,” said Bratcher.

A relationship with each player is important in Bratcher’s eyes. ” It’s good to develop a relationship with these guys. When I’m here during the day. The guys always make an effort to come up to me. They are a good group of guys to be around and they are the ones that make it the most fun. Bratcher takes pride in his roles as attorney and baseball coach. But one of his top priorities is his family. Bratcher is married to his wife Jamie and they have three children: Caleb, Maisy and Claire.

Faith also plays a significant role in Bratcher’s daily life. “In today’s culture, it is so common to make faith a Sunday only thing; in reality its an every day and every decision thing,” said Bratcher.


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