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News

Remembering Coach Rucks

March 10, 2015

The Carthage community experienced a great loss this week with the unexpected passing of Coach Timothy Rucks. Coach Rucks passed away on Tuesday, March 10, at age 54.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 14, in Carthage’s A. F. Siebert Chapel, 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha, with the Rev. Kara Baylor and the Rev. Brad Van Fossen officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family on Saturday in Siebert Chapel from 1 p.m. until the time of the service.

Carthage will provide a live stream of the memorial service for those unable to attend. Please go to live.carthage.edu on Saturday.

All who had the pleasure of knowing and working with Coach Rucks felt the depth of his commitment to Carthage. Coach Rucks led the Carthage football program during a wonderful 18-year career as Carthage’s head coach. For the past two years, Tim served as an assistant athletic director and academic advisor. His mentoring and leadership impacted thousands of our students over the years, and his presence on our campus will be greatly missed.

Carthage Director of Athletics Bob Bonn remembered his colleague and friend today.

“I spoke with Tim Rucks almost every day since January 16, 1995, the day that I hired him as the Carthage head football coach. Tim gave every ounce of his energy, talent, and enthusiasm to the football program, the athletics department and most importantly to the students, over his 20-year Carthage career. He taught us all how to be compassionate, how to treat people, and how to care about others. He was one of the kindest people I have or will ever know. This is a terrible loss for the Rucks and Carthage families and we will miss him with all of our hearts.”

Coach Rucks was named American Football Coaches Association North Region “Coach of the Year,” as well as College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin “Bob Reade Football Coach of the Year” in 2004 with an 11-2 conference-championship team that reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Football Championship. He was also named Wisconsin Private College “Football Coach of the Year” in 2009. From 1990 to 1994, he was the head coach at North Park University, also in the College Conference of Illinois Wisconsin. In five years at North Park, he increased the size of the football squad from 21 to 91 players, and his 1993 team’s 4-4-1 record was North Park’s best finish in 25 years.

Born on December 21, 1960, Coach Rucks is a native of Waukegan, Illinois, attended Waukegan West High School, and played four years of football at Carthage under head coach Art Keller. As a senior in 1982, he was named first-team All-CCIW offensive tackle. He graduated in 1983 with a double major in English and political science. Coach Rucks was selected in the third round by the Denver Gold in the inaugural United States Football League draft before signing as a free agent with the National Football League’s New York Jets. He played with the Jets during the 1983 season.
 


From 1986 to 1988, Coach Rucks served as an assistant football coach at Niles North High School in suburban Chicago. He was named an assistant football coach at North Park in 1989 before the college promoted him to head coach prior to the 1990 season. Coach Rucks received his master’s in college administration from Northeastern Illinois University in 1994.

The entire community gathered on Thursday, March 12, to mourn the loss of our friend and colleague. The gathering was held at 11:30 a.m. on the steps of A. F. Siebert Chapel. Carthage flags will fly at half-staff for three days in honor of our colleague.

The Carthage community asks everyone to join us in extending our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Tim’s family, friends, and colleagues. His valued contributions to the College are beyond measure and we, as Carthaginians, will always honor his memory.