Nick Bruck made plenty of memories on the college football field. Now, those memories will be enshrined forever.
The 2000 Camdenton graduate, who helped the Lakers win a state title in football in 1999 and went on to become a state champion in track and field in the spring of 2000, was inducted into the Westminster College Hall of Fame Class of 2017 for his accomplishments on the gridiron during his time with the Blue Jays on September 30. Last year, the Laker football program was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in Springfield, but this honor was just as special for the Camdenton native.
“I’m so proud of it because it was something that happened a long time ago and I was able to have my mom and dad and my kids there with me,” Bruck said of the ceremony that took place before the Westminster football game. “They (kids) were not around when I was back in college and they were really proud of me so it was really neat.
“Westminster won big, it was a really good celebration and they did a great job hosting the event. I was really glad to be there,” he added.
Bruck began his college career at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg where he played for two years, but decided to transfer to the school in Fulton for the final three after being lured there by some former Camdenton teammates.
“I had a bunch of players I played with in high school on the team and they really drew me to that place,” Bruck recalled. “I like the camaraderie that I had when I played here (Camdenton) and those guys really talked me into going and playing there to make it like an atmosphere that we have here, a small town and a lot of fun with guys that were really good friends.”
And Bruck certainly had fun. He had the rare opportunity to play on both offense and defense as he spent time at defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, fullback and tight end. He broke the sack record and tackles for a loss record, which has since been broken, but the team went on to enjoy two Upper Midwest Athletic Conference titles.
“A lot of good memories,” Bruck recalled. “We won a lot of games... I was super proud and we had really good seasons.”
Bruck became the gameday leader in tackles for a loss with five against Minnesota Morris on September 18, 2004. Some of his other accomplishments include being named the UMAC Lineman of the Year in 2003, the UMAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, the UMAC Defensive MVP in 2004 and the Most Valuable Lineman in 2004. The accomplishments also include being named to First Team All-Conference in 2002, 2003 and 2004 respectively.
To accomplish all that, Bruck said it took some passion and a love for the game. He now applies that same logic as the Defensive Coordinator at Camdenton where he has spent the last 12 years coaching football and track and field at the school.
“It is something you have to enjoy and that is why I transferred out of U.C.M.,” Bruck stated. “I was not enjoying myself and when I transferred, I started having a lot more fun and that is really what sports is about. Put in the daily work at whatever you are doing and you’ll be a success.”
If an induction into a Hall of Fame is any indication, it just might be some sound advice to follow.