At the beginning of the week, I saw that Sherrie Davis Ebersole, a member of the Sterling High School girls’ first State Championship Basketball Team (1977), posted on facebook a Chicago Tribune article which announced Bruce Scheidegger’s untimely death due to a car accident. Across the Midwest and beyond, we mourn the loss of a beloved former coach, athletic director, husband, father and son.
Even though Bruce’s career took him to the big city, he never lost his small town ways. He took those same values along when he left Sterling for the athletic director position at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, where he continued to be respected for his honesty, fairplay and integrity.
He may have left Sterling, but he remained in our hearts.
I met Bruce when my dad introduced him to me as the new Sterling High School girls’ basketball coach (1998-2007). During my visits to the States over Christmas holidays, I went to the Dixon Tournament to watch the girls play. Seeing Bruce coach his daughters reminded me of when my dad coached my sister and me. I admired the way Bruce spoke to the media, interacted with his players, and called time out just at the right time.
Kind, upbeat, sincere. He remembered names and faces.Whenever we were back in town, he invited my Franco-American daughter to practice with the team. When she played for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, he followed her career.
He once told me his family originally came from Switzerland. Years later, when I visited Kleine Scheidegg, 6,762 ft, the mountain pass between the Eiger and Lauberhorn peaks in the Swiss Alps, I wanted to send him a postcard of his ancestral village. He was the kind of person you never forget.
I did not know him well, but I know well where he came from – a tight-knit family from a small Northwestern Illinois town. He graduated from Chadwick a year after I graduated from Sterling. He attended University of Illinois; I went to Illinois State. He played baseball; I played basketball. We both loved coaching. Whether he was coaching at Prophetstown, Dixon, Sterling or Carl Sandburg, he advocated for all student/athletes, especially girls.
Bruce was truly the kind of AD that looked out for coaches, including old ones. How many big school ADs would take the time to write a letter to an 80-year-old-coach (my dad) to commemorate his birthday?Read more