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Waseca football coach returns just weeks after his heart stopped on the sidelines

"I'm in bonus time now. I feel blessed to be here," Brad Wendland told KARE 11's Randy Shaver on his first day back in the classroom and the football field.

WASECA, Minn. — It's been just over three weeks since a scary moment on the sidelines for Waseca's head football coach, Brad Wendland. 

He went into cardiac arrest and collapsed with 31 seconds left in a season-opening win at home, in front of family, friends and his team.

On Monday, less than a month later, Brad returned to the classroom and the football field.

The sign outside his classroom said it all: Brad Wendland is back.

"For me it's more normalcy, I'm not built to sit around the house," Wendland said.

Amazing when you consider, just weeks earlier, he nearly died on the football field.

"They still don't know why this happened and that's unnerving," he said.

His heart stopped, but fast-acting medical personnel using an AED revived him, saving his life.

"I had no appreciation for the severity of what was going on," Wendland explained, adding how grateful he feels now. "I don't have bad days anymore ... I'm in bonus time now. I feel blessed to be here."

Monday was his first day back on the Waseca practice field. Not full speed, but fast enough to feel a part of it again, and he appreciates every moment. 

"Do I feel chosen sometimes? Yeah, I do, but I can handle it, handle all that," Wendland said. "I'm going to do what I do best, try do as well as I can."

Wendland now has an AED-like device implanted in his chest, and says he feels it's his responsibility to promote CPR training and AED availability at sporting events, like the kind that saved his life.

RELATED: Waseca H.S. football coach recovering after sideline collapse

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