Northwest Ohio offers some of the best cross country and track & field to be found and Steve Bruskotter helped Bluffton High School become part of that conversation of “great programs” and “great teams.”
Beginning his career in 1973 as an assistant coach , Steve took over the head coaching position in 1977 (boys in 1977, boys and girls in 1985) and held that position until his retirement in 2008. In that 26 year period, Bluffton made going to the State Championship a routine part of their season. Once they got there-they made an impression on us all.
Thirty-five boys have won State Championship titles as individuals or as part of relays including two time individual champions, Shane Shockey and John Guagenti. The Pirates set three state records along the way while winning team honors as State Runners-up in 1978, 1985, and 1992. In 2008, they took home the State Champion title.
The girls have been equally as successful with eleven girls winning individual State Champion titles including three time winners Bonnie Stratton (100M, 200M) and Ann Stechschulte (800M, 1600M, and high jump) and four time shot/discus specialist, Caity Matter. Along the way, the Pirate ladies set two state records and won the State Runner-up team title in 1997. That same year, Steve won the Fred Dafler Career State Coach of the Year Award.
Steve served the OATCCC as the District 7 representative until his retirement.Â In 2010, he joined the staff at the University of Findlay and helped Shane Shockey go to the next level and eventually win the NCAA DII National Indoor title in pole vault.Â Corey Shank also won All-American honors for pole vault in 2013 (7th, Indoor).
Steve is still an assistant coach at the University of Findlay.