WVU Sports with Mike Casazza

The empire can expand only so far

Share This Article

Mike Barwis has a TV show that debuts at 9 p.m. Wednesday on the Discovery Channel. If you know of Barwis, yeah, that’s not a stretch. His personality, his brand of performance is sort of made for television.

“I’ve never been a regular guy when it comes to training,” he said. “I bring an intensity that’s abnormal. I’m energetic and passionate about what I do, and that, as well as the people I work with and the people around me, has elicited results other people haven’t seen as fathomable.”

If you’ve known Barwis at one level or another, uh, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. He and the spotlight are like me and the yoga mat. This is an unlikely, but nevertheless effective combination.

“Do you want the truth?” Barwis said. “I don’t watch TV. Honestly. I just don’t have the time, and I’ve always wanted to spend the time I do have helping people. That’s it. I don’t watch TV. I couldn’t tell you a lot about reality TV, to be honest with you. All I want to do is put something out there that maybe encourages people and brings them a new outlook on life.”

Barwis oversees an expanding empire now. Bawris Methods, as it is called, has five gyms in Detroit. Two are coming in Florida and there are plans for one in Michigan, California and Canada. He works with all sorts of amateur and professional athletes, welcomes all walks of regular folks to take the initiative to change their lives, and he’s particularly proud of his work with the disabled and the success of the First Step Foundation.

I mention all of that because every so often, whether it’s when a team fades in the fourth quarter or gets deep into a season with an offensive line that lacks a push, people want to raise the possibility he’d return to WVU.

“I will say this, and I hope you can tell your readers this because I really do mean it — West Virginia will always be a home to me. The people at West Virginia and in the state of West Virginia I absolutely love,” he said. “I really loved the college kids, no question, but I still get to do that and I also get to help the disabled and help pro teams and Olympic athletes. I have no limitations on how many lives I can impact.

“When I go to bed at night, I want to know if I earnestly gave everything I could to every single person possible that day. Then I can wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and say, ‘OK, I am who I’m supposed to be.’ The goal is to really try and affect as many people as I can and help them find what’s inside of them.”

Barwis said he’s turned down “racks and racks” of job offers from colleges and professional teams. I hate to break it to you, but a full-time gig at WVU or any other college isn’t in the cards.

“It’s pretty unlikely I would go back to college only because I would lose the ability to impact a lot of other people,” he said.