Feb. 29, 2012
By John Hirn
Ram Alumni Athletes Association
There is no doubt many relationships have begun on the Colorado State University campus that have led to marriage, but when Shelly Greathouse took her official tour of the campus in 1993 she never dreamed that her student-athlete host would one day be her husband. Better yet, few could have thought that a relationship would form in which both athletes went on to be the only husband and wife hall of fame inductees in CSU history.
As a Fort Collins resident and 1994 graduate of Rocky Mountain High School, Shelly Greathouse never had any desire to attend the local university where her father was a professor in the Animal Sciences Department. She just decided to do her parents a favor and allow Coaches Doug Max and Brain Bedard to come over to her house for dessert to talk about CSU Track.
That dessert, which lasted three hours, led to Greathouse taking a tour of the campus hosted by Mattias Borrman. Borrman, a native of Sweden and transfer from the University of Nevada-Reno, also competed in the same throwing events as Greathouse. Shelly said 19 years later, "I verbally committed to attend CSU that night after my visit. However, at the time there was no way I was going to be dating Mattias!!!"
Greathouse and Borrman became good friends and teammates during their careers at CSU spending hours together perfecting their technique, critiquing one another and doing whatever they could to make themselves better on the field of competition. Their work together paid off in the form of championships and school records.
Mattias broke 13 school records in the hammer, javelin, shot and 35lb weight. He was a five-time competitor at the NCAA national championships and seven-time NCAA championship qualifier. A seven-time All-WAC competitor in five events, Mattias also won the Nye Award in 1994, Rob Upton Award in 1996 and was the MPV of the 1996 WAC championship meet as the highest point scorer. After graduation, Mattias annually returned to Sweden where he won the 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2003 Swedish National Championship in the discus.
Shelly racked up even more awards becoming the only CSU track athlete, men's or women's, named to five All-American teams. She received All-American honors in the discus during all four years she competed and also won the 1998 All-American Award for the hammer. She was named to seven All-WAC teams, won three WAC championships, and received the Stan Bates Award post-graduate scholarship in 1999.
Shelly also won four Rob Upton Awards, the Virginia Frank Award in 1999 and the Mencimer Award for most outstanding female scholar-athlete in 1998 and 1999. While she was still in school, Shelly was inducted into the Colorado Sportswomen Hall of Fame in 1995. During her senior year she placed second in the nation in the NCAA discus event.
With all of this success between the two great athletes, a relationship formed following Mattias' graduation in 1996. Shelly remembered back to the time when their friendship blossomed, "We reconnected when he returned in the fall of 1996 and discovered that a coaching position at the University of Wyoming wasn't what it was supposed to be and he found himself back in Fort Collins. We were both unattached by this time and had similar interests and spent a lot of time together. One night, Mattias took the leap and professed his feelings (and his love) for me and we've been together ever since!"
Mattias thought back to the fall of 1996 as well saying, "I think Shelly and I both didn't have our eyes open to the possibility of romance until after I was done with school. We both had a great focus on school and athletics and, although the friendship and mutual admiration was there for a long time, our commitments, leadership roles and athletic partnership sort of did not allow anything else to develop until that dynamic changed. After that it went happily pretty fast and we got married a year after we began dating!"
Mattias and Shelly Borrman were first married in October of 1997 in front of a judge so that Mattias could officially begin the Green Card process. They were then married at a church wedding in January of 1998 and today recognize that date, but keep their October date special.
From the fall of 1996 to January of 1998, Shelly not only dated and got married, but in 1997 she came down with an illness that forced her to redshirt the season. When she returned to the track in 1998 as Shelly Borrman, she picked up where she left off winning All-American awards, conference championships and academic awards as well. When she graduated in 1999, Shelly was named as one of the top-10 outstanding seniors in the College of Business and also received an NCAA post-graduate scholarship award.
Since graduation, Shelly and Mattias have continued to coach and compete in their favorite sport. Shelly was inducted into the CSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 and Mattias in 2005, making them the only married members of the CSU Hall.
The couple have two children ages 10 and eight and live in Fort Collins where Mattias continues to help a few times a month with the CSU javelin throwers and coach his children's soccer teams. He stays in shape playing ice hockey and is a loan consultant with imortgage in Fort Collins along with operating a construction finance consulting business. Shelly works as a Project Specialist at the Health District of Northern Larimer County leading a task force of community members that is helping children, youth and young adults with mental health or substance abuse.
Looking back at their CSU experience, both Shelly and Mattias have admiration for their coaches and how college shaped their lives. Mattias said, "Coach Bedard is to this day a great friend, Coach Max showed me how to take care of stuff right away, and Jeff Prior had something to do with my growing into a man. Without all of this and my time at CSU, my current life would not be what it is."
Shelly said of her coaches, "Overall, I look back on my time with CSU with great fondness and I know I owe so much to Doug Max and Brian Bedard for believing in my abilities and bringing me onto the track team. My life is what it is today because of their belief in my abilities and their 3-hour dessert visit with my family in the fall of 1993! The friendships I made will last a lifetime and I always look forward to reunion events to see my old teammates and find out what they are doing today."