UNION TWP. | Citing the wish to spend more time with his family, Marc Bruner handed in his resignation as the Wheeler softball coach last week.
Bruner spent six years coaching Wheeler softball, leading the Bearcats to the 2010 Class 2A state title as well as two other regional titles. The 2001 Valparaiso University graduate also formerly served as the Wheeler girls basketball coach.
“It’s all about time,” Bruner said. “I’ve been coaching football and basketball as well and three sports just got to be too much. When you have a 1-year-old at home, coaching three sports just doesn’t work.”
Though he is stepping down from his post at Wheeler, Bruner isn’t done with coaching. He’ll begin a teaching position at Portage in the fall and will serve as an assistant football coach while continuing to assist Chris Siebert and the Portage girls basketball team.
“Getting to teach at Portage and be able to only coach two sports while being financially in a good situation,” Bruner said, “it was something I couldn’t pass up.”
Bruner informed the Wheeler players of his decision last Wednesday, calling it “the most difficult thing I’ve had to do in my coaching career.”
“This was the most enjoyable season I’ve ever had,” Bruner said. “There’s a lot of talent, just a wonderful group of kids. They worked hard, established team chemistry. This team was awesome and there’s no reason it shouldn’t continue. They’re going to be good.”
The move away from being a head coach represents the first time that Bruner will simply be an assistant coach at the varsity level while not juggling other coaching responsibilities. Bruner has also had coaching stints at Bishop Noll and Merrillville.
“I didn’t get a lot of time to be an assistant,” Bruner said. “I was an eighth-grade coach before I became a head JV coach. Being an assistant has kind of escaped me a little bit. Maybe I’m working a little bit backward. It will allow me to coach and work with the kids and it will also take away some of the paperwork, allowing me more time with my family.”