Greyhound for Life: Read a Q&A with Retiring Assistant Athletic Director Bruce Wolf

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Bruce Wolf, Champions Together co-sponsor and assistant athletic director, counts the money the club raised at their annual Mr. Carmel event in 2019. Wolf said starting Champions Together with Joe Stuelpe was one of his proudest moments across his 40 year CHS career.

Ashwin Prasad

What motivated you to join the CHS staff in the first place?

Coming out of Purdue University in the spring of 1980, I was hoping to start a career teaching science and coaching baseball and/or football. It just happened that Carmel had an opening that fit. It was almost a dream come true opportunity as many of my mentors and life-coaches were administrators, teachers and staff at CHS – some are still that today.

How did the assistant AD opportunity come about for you?

During my first 15 years at CHS I had varying experiences in athletics – coaching, athletic training, working events and assisting with the implementation of technology. When the position became available, it seemed like the natural career opportunity for me so I applied. Fortunately I got the job and it is something I have not regretted once. In fact I have cherished it ever since.

What is the biggest change in CHS athletics from the start of your tenure to 2020?

Wow, (that is) very difficult to narrow it down to a single thing – but maybe I can put it under the broad umbrella of “expanded opportunities.” A couple specific examples would be:

Women’s Sports – when I started at CHS, girls sports were just emerging from the old “Girls Athletic Association” (GAA), and becoming fully-sanctioned IHSAA sports. There were just a handful of sports offered for girls then and that has expanded to 12 sports offerings at CHS today.

Unified Sports – with the recent Champions Together initiative, the IHSAA and CHS have added unified sports which are providing athletics opportunities for students previously excluded from participation in interscholastic sports.

What is your proudest memory of CHS athletics across the last 25 years?

Of course there are many proud moments over a 25 year span, thanks to the accomplishments of our kids and their coaches. Probably the one that stands out though is working with Joe Stuelpe to get Champions Together started, and Heather Bouillet and Karen Hayes to get unified sports started at CHS.

What will be the challenges for CHS athletics in the years to come?

On the local level, one will be the ongoing challenge of balancing available resources with evaluating the potential adoption of additional sports –  for example, the increasingly expanding world of e-sports.

On the national (and local) level, the issue of transgender students (not just as athletes), is likely to be a challenge for school administrators and athletics directors responsible for maintaining a “level playing field” in interscholastic sports.

What did you enjoy most about being assistant AD?

Without question, watching the CHS athletes compete. More specifically, watching their dedication, work-ethic, perseverance and competitive character displayed in competition – regardless of the contest outcome.

When did you decide that it was time to step aside? What led you to that decision?

I don’t think there was a “waterfall moment” as far as the timing goes. But from time to time over my career, I have advised veteran coaches “(It is) better to retire when they’re maybe sad to see you go, than stay until they’re relieved your finally leaving.” So I thought I should follow my own advice and not over-stay my welcome.

Do you plan to be around CHS in the years to come?

I have many friends at CHS and I would hope to stay in touch in several ways in the coming years.

If there is anything else that you want readers to know, whether it is additional thanks to the people you worked with, or advice to the students and faculty members, do not hesitate to write them down in your reply.

One thing that hasn’t changed during my 40 years at CHS, is that everyone – students, athletes, teachers, coaches, parents, administrators, etc. – expects the best out of each other every day. It’s not just what we expect, it’s what we want for each other. My hope is that will never change because I think it’s what makes CHS the great place it is.

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