WAPAKONETA ‚?? After Steve Bruskotter‚??s Bluffton High School‚??s boys‚?? track and field team won the Division III state championship in 2008, he said it was time to hang it up.
Now, four years later, Bruskotter is enjoying retirement to its fullest.
Bruskotter is now in his third year as an assistant coach at Ottawa-Glandorf, where he coaches the pole vaulters and jumpers. He also has been an assistant coach the past two years at the University of Findlay for the indoor track program.
At Friday‚??s Wapakoneta Redskin Relays, Bruskotter‚??s group of O-G vaulters performed well. Freshman Colin Laubenthal had the best vault of the meet, clearing a personal-best 12 feet, 9 inches. His teammates, Mathias Klausing and Zac Closson, cleared 11-8 and 10-6, respectively.
Laubenthal, who had cleared 12-6 the past three meets, said Friday‚??s weather conditions made it a challenge.
‚??The wind was a little tough to deal with, especially as it got colder throughout the night. But once the wind died down a little bit, then it was a little easier,‚?Ě Laubenthal said.
Bruskotter said it was difficult to turn down the opportunities presented to him after he left Bluffton. He joined the O-G staff three years ago and when the University of Findlay pursued him, he said it was just too attractive of an offer to turn down.
‚??They (Findlay) called me and said they needed a vault coach,‚?Ě Bruskotter said. ‚??Terry McKibben was their old vault coach and he gave it up. They called me and asked me if I would do it, but I had already committed to Ottawa-Glandorf. So, I said I could do the indoor (season), but not the outdoor.‚?Ě
Coaching at the collegiate level was attractive for Bruskotter. However, there was another reason why he wanted to help out at Findlay.
Shane Shockey, who won the Division III pole vault state title at Bluffton, under the guidance of Bruskotter, was now competing at Findlay.
‚??I think part of the reason they called me was because he (Shockey) transferred from the University of Cincinnati to Findlay,‚?Ě Bruskotter said. ‚??I had coached him maybe halfway through his eighth-grade year, on. I knew the kid and knew what he was able to do, so it was a good fit.‚?Ě
This past winter, Shockey won the NCAA Division II indoor national championship and Bruskotter was there to coach his former high school standout.
‚??That was pretty neat,‚?Ě Bruskotter said. ‚??To see him win state in high school and now he‚??s a national champion. That‚??s something special.‚?Ě
Full results of the Redskin Relays were not available by presstime. See Sunday‚??s Lima News for the full results.
Locals fall short at Olympic Trials