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What Only Hardcore Gold Rush Fans Know About Fred Lewis' Jobs Before Mining

The Discovery reality series "Gold Rush" has garnered a number of fans since its debut in 2010. The show, which follows mining crews as they search for gold, began in Alaska, eventually going to Colorado and even South America in search of the mineral.

The series has spawned a number of spin-offs since it began, including "Gold Rush: Parker's Trail," "Gold Rush: White Water," and "Gold Rush: The Jungle." Viewers, however, have remained invested in the various members of the team as much as they have been invested in the search for gold.

One of the key members of the team has been Fred Lewis. Lewis joined "Gold Rush" in Season 11 as the leader of a new crew, carrying on in Season 12 as he was in charge of one of the four mining crews the season focuses on. He then moved on to the spin-off series "Gold Rush: Winter's Fortune." However, mining wasn't the first job Lewis had — in fact, he worked a few jobs that are as far away from mining as you can get.

Lewis worked as a medic and a teacher before turning to mining

Fred Lewis was once in the Army, first as a Green Beret, then as a Special Forces Medic, working all around the world before he left the military in 2009. His experience as a medic is what led to his first exposure to mining, as he worked with the crew of the spin-off series "Gold Rush: Parker's Trail" in Papua New Guinea in 2019.

After getting out of the military, Lewis went back to school, getting a bachelor's degree in web design, and a master's in education. He used the latter to transition into a teaching career, working as a history teacher at a middle school, a biology teacher and rec wrestling coach at a high school, as well as a volleyball coach. He also tried his hand at green agriculture, but admitted in a 2020 interview with military.com that none of the positions really stuck, adding that much like a lot of veterans, he was still in a transition phase from leaving the military.

Lewis also was in the obstacle course reality competition series "American Ninja Warrior," competing in the Los Angeles qualifiers in 2017, during Season 9 of the show. While he didn't manage to get far, that didn't deter him from returning in 2018 for Season 10 of the show to try again, this time during the Dallas qualifiers (via Ninjaguide).

The 2020 pandemic led to Lewis losing his job, which is what gave him the ultimate push to pursue mining as a career.