Saying goodbye to a football coach

As most of the Carthage community probably saw in an e-mail two weeks ago, after 18 seasons as head football coach Tim Rucks will be joining the Carthage Athletics Administration Team as Assistant Director. With nine winning seasons in the last 10 years, and the first championship in 39 years, it is not far-fetched to say that Rucks had a hand in making the program competitive.

When asked to comment on the team, coach Rucks said, “I feel that I left it in much better shape than when I found it.”

No stranger to Carthage football, he spent four years on the team under head coach Art Keller before being named first-team All-CCIW offensive tackle as a senior in 1982. He also had a one-year stint with the New York Jets. A google search can dig up the fact that Rucks isn’t just a pretty face however, graduating with a double major in English and Political Science. Although never straying too far from the CCIW area, he started as a member of the NCAA Division III Football Championship Committee in 1993 before returning to Carthage.

Coaching was not something new to him before Carthage either. After spending two years as assistant head coach at Niles North high school in Chicago, Rucks worked in the same vein at North Park University in 1989. He was quickly promoted to head coach for the 1990 season. Four years later he received his Master’s degree in College Administration from Northeastern Illinois University.

Considering that he is no stranger to athletics, and has spent decades in the realm of coaching whether as an assistant or head coach, one has to wonder what he will miss about his position.

“It will be extremely hard for me as I will miss the competitive aspect of running a football program and the personal relationships I have enjoyed with my players,” said Rucks.

When asked about some of his most accomplished moments, Rucks had this to say: “Most gratifying is that I have had the good fortune of impacting a lot of lives and so many players have benefited from going to Carthage and being a part of the football program, many of whom have turned out to be friends.”

Although leaving behind coaching, Rucks will be assuming a slew of other responsibilities. “I am looking forward to impacting Carthage and its athletes in a different way, and I really look forward to the challenges of learning a new role.” Some of these new roles include taking on fundraising and relations with alumni, but he will still be involved with students through recruitment, student eligibility and advising. Congratulations go out to him as he starts this new journey.

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  • Allison Sarwark

    It is definitely sad to see a person leave after having such a positive impact on a successful program. I have known a lot of people who have been under Rucks’ coaching and have really seen them grow not only as players but people overall. He has definitely established a mark in Carthage Athletics for a long time and it is great that he isn’t going far for his new position as Assistant Director. He can still spread his knowledge to future and current athletes. Congrats to Coach Rucks on a great career and new responsibilities.

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