BY JASMINE ROSALES
Showing his humorous side, Coach Bruich strikes a pose for the camera (JASMINE ROSALES/ETHIC NEWS)
Growing up, Citrus Valley High School football coach Kurt Bruich was an all around athlete who dabbled in whatever sport was in season. From a young age, Bruich could always be found on the court, the diamond, the mat, or field year round, but the football field at Fontana High School where his dad, Dick Bruich coached, would be the place that would shape Bruich into the person he is today.
As a child, Bruich grew up in Fontana, California. He is the middle child with one older sister, who is 11 months older, and a younger brother, who is nine years younger than him. While growing up, his older sister became his best friend, they did everything together. The two of them would always be outside playing sports or games until the street lights came on.
Jerry Sheare, an English teacher at CV, shares his fond memories of his childhood spent with Bruich.
“I remember racing up and down the sidelines running fade routes with Kurt before, during and after every FOHI game,” Sheare says, “We topped it off with greasy pizza from Mazzullis, what could be better for the sons of two football coaches?”
With his dad as the head football coach at Fontana High School at the time, Mr. Bruich was busy coaching during the fall. So because of that, Bruich and his sister would go to school with their dad to the practices where they learned to run around the school and make it like their second home.
In high school football, Bruich was an offensive player. He played both sides of the ball, but on offense he played wingback and H-back.
Being able to be coached by his dad really impacted Bruich because his father is his role model. Bruich grew up watching his dad impact his friends’ lives on and off the field.
Elijah Penrice, a senior at Citrus Valley states “He’s taught me to keep myself in check and i’m the one who controls my own destiny, he really has been a role model and father figure in my life for the past four years and I will always be grateful for that.”
Seeing what he was able to do, the lessons he taught them, and just the impact he made overall really inspired him to do the same as a coach now.
Bruich’s platform is to not only teach his team how to win on the field but to also win in life. He wants to be able to mentor kids the way he watched his dad do when he was younger. It’s deeper than football.
Penrice also says, “One thing that I’ll take with me that coach B taught me is to be resilient in any situation life threw at me and keep pushing to my ultimate goal whatever that may be.”
Bruich shares how having past players come visit him 20 years later and to see how they’ve grown as a person and even as parents is what it’s all about. He takes great pride in every kid that he coaches and loves watching them become great players and people.
Leaving high school, Bruich received a scholarship to Cal Polytechnic State University where he majored in Physical Education with an emphasis in Sports Psychology. He attended CPSU for two years and then transferred to the U of R where he received his degree in physical education and a masters in education.
Following Bruich’s college graduation, he had already begun his coaching career while assisting his dad in the spring during Bruichs’ off season. After graduating from the U of R, Bruich became a graduate assistant.
His first head coach position was at Cerritos High School, Bruich got the position at just 23 years old. Moving from Cerritos to Redlands became a reality when one of his old college coaches called him, and asked if this is somewhere he would want to be.
“Being in Redlands, Inland Empire, it’s home to me so it was an easy decision for me to come back” Bruich confidently answered.
He then got hired for Redlands East Valley High School and to Citrus Valley where he is currently working as the head coach of the Blackhawks.
Early on Bruich knew he wanted to have a family, so when he moved to Redlands to coach at REV, he had been given a miracle.
At his first head coach position at Cerritos, he met his wife, Lisa Bruich in the spring of 1988 where she worked as the cheerleading coach. The two began dating in January of 2002, they got engaged three months later on April 1, 2002. That following year she was hired to teach English at Moore Middle School. Currently, Mrs. Bruich serves as the Director of Human Resources in the district office.
Coach B and Mrs. Bruich were inseparable since. With time, Bruich would get married to his best friend.
“Because of Coach Bruich’s support and encouragement, I have been able to accomplish many things. We’re a great team and I am truly thankful,” Mrs Bruich shares.
Working together as a team, the pair have accomplished many things in their careers. Bruich achieved his 200th win this season at Citrus Valley.
On coach Bruichs right arm, he has a tattoo to signify him and his dad’s coaching. The state of california as the base, the top ring was when Bruichs dad were state champs under his coaching in 1989. The ring under that is when coach Bruich led the Redlands East Valley team to the championships in 2014. Bruich and his father are the only father and son duo who have each won state championships and won 200+ games in their career. (JASMINE ROSALES/ETHIC NEWS)
Throughout the years, Bruich had to overcome many challenges growing up which have shaped him into who he is today. From being the son of the head football coach, having an older sister who was an All California Athlete in two different sports and got a scholarship to Marymount California University. This left Bruich with a lot of pressure on him to live up to the Bruich name his family had built up. He really wanted to find his own identity and create a name for himself.
Going through a rough patch in his early 20’s showed Bruich just how strong he was as a person, having to relay and rebound from unfortunate circumstances made him stronger. Meeting his wife and committing to a relationship, and being able to establish himself as a coach separate from his dad really helped Bruich be able to define who he is.
One of the many mottos that Bruich heavily believes is “Find your passion & pursue it.” This motto keeps him young and motivated and hopeful. Day by day he continues to better himself and continues to find his identity.
In his spare time Bruich enjoys spending time with his family, as his two girls give him a purpose in life, he loves to watch sports, mainly football. Bruichs’ favorite hobby is barbequing. He loves to smoke all kinds of meat, and different woods, really changing it up. His specialty and well known brisket, seasoned with his special recipe. Smoking tri tip on a day to day basis is where it’s at, boneless chicken thighs the list goes on and on.
Coach B, as many call him, is a very uplifting person with a sense of humor, Bruich shares that he is very keen on dad jokes and even has a book on them.
Taking it day by day, Bruich strives to better himself and see what the future holds for him. Hitting a milestone of receiving his 200th win on October 14, 2022, he is setting and achieving personal goals, always pushing for more.