Rucker takes over Cardinal Stritch football program

J. Patrick Eaken

Cardinal Stritch has appointed Gene Rucker as the new varsity football coach.
        Rucker comes to Stritch after serving as an assistant coach at Sylvania Northview. Prior to Northview, Rucker served as an assistant at his high school alma mater. Marion Harding.
        “He’s a vibrant young man and we’re looking forward to that,” said Cardinal Stritch High School and Academy President Bill Berry. Berry said that when the school last hired a football coach, there were only four applicants. This time there were 25.
        After an outstanding high school career, he attended Capital University where he played linebacker, defensive end, and special teams. Coach Rucker has a Bachelor of Science degree in behavioral psychology (Capital University), and a Master of Science: Special Education K-12 Mild to Moderate (Grand Canyon University).
        Last year under coach Bryan Dudash, the Cardinals went 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference.
        At the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the Communities breakfast at Mercy St. Charles Hospital, Northwood Superintendent Jason Kozina weighed in on the hiring with some humor.
        “We are in an athletic conference with Cardinal Stritch. We have great partnerships with them on the athletic front. Congratulations on the new coach. Anyone who knows Northwood knows our football coach has been Ken James for 30 years, so his message I’m sure will be we’ll keep the Big Apple Deli Trophy,” Kozina said, talking about the trophy given to the Northwood-Stritch winner each season.


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