Steamboat Springs His departure never was about the team. In fact, David Bruner said, it’s that team, and those girls, who make the way everything ended up a positive.
Bruner stepped down as the Soroco High School girls head coach after last season, and he had a very good reason to do so. But no qualified candidate stepped forward to fill his shoes, so Bruner agreed to return to the court.
The Rams begin practice Friday, working for their new, and old, coach.
“These girls are headed down the right track, and I didn’t want to see that go away,” Bruner said. “We have a solid core group of seniors back, so I stepped back in and want to see the kids be successful.”
This season will mark Bruner’s fourth with the basketball program. The team has gradually improved during that time, and he’s got a starting lineup this season packed with experienced players — three of them seniors.
His concern after last season, an 11-6 campaign that ended with a heartbreaking loss in the district tournament, had nothing to do with that group. Rather, Bruner was looking to spend more time with his own girls, a trio of daughters, the oldest of whom — Soroco seventh-grader Dakota — will begin playing junior high basketball this winter.
Bruner also coaches the high school football team, and he’ll wrap up the sporting season with another stint as the high school track head coach, his sixth year in that role. All told, Bruner will have served as head coach for 15 Rams varsity sports seasons (of a possible 18) since he arrived in Oak Creek six years ago for the 2006-07 school year.
That kind of workload at the school, where he also teaches physical education, doesn’t exactly lend itself to many early nights at home August through May.
That he was called back to coach wasn’t a bad thing, he said.
An examination of the schedule revealed he’ll likely miss only one seventh-grade basketball game. He said he’s gotten tremendous support for his crazy schedule from his wife, Kim Bruner.
And just as he always is leading up to a new season, he’s excited about what’s to come.
“This group, they’ve worked really hard through high school, so hopefully they can go out on a good note,” he said.
— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com