Tim Rucks

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Tim Rucks
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1960-12-21)December 21, 1960
Waukegan, Illinois, US
Died March 10, 2015(2015-03-10) (aged 54)
Kenosha, Wisconsin, US
Alma mater Carthage College
Playing career
1983 New York Jets
1984 Racine Gladiators (NSFL)
1985 Chicago Chargers
Position(s) Offensive tackle
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1986–1988 Niles North HS (Assistant)
1989 North Park (Assistant)
1990–1993 North Park
1995–2012 Carthage
Head coaching record
Overall 104–112–4 (.482)

Tim Rucks (December 21, 1960 – March 10, 2015) was an American football player and coach in the US.

Early life[edit]

Rucks was born on December 21, 1960 in Waukegan, Illinois, graduating from Waukegan West High School in 1979.[1]

College career[edit]

Rucks played for the Carthage Red Men under coach Art Keller. A first-team College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin player in his senior year, Rucks graduated in 1983.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Rucks was drafted by the Denver Gold in the fourteenth round of the inaugural United States Football League Draft in 1983 (right ahead of future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and veteran punter Sean Landeta). However, he decided to forego the USFL, instead signing a free agent contract with the National Football League's New York Jets on May 5 of that year. Only three months later, Rucks was released by the Jets on August 12.[1] [2]

Semi-professional career[edit]

In 1984, Rucks played for the Racine Gladiators, being named to the all-league and all minor-league teams, and in 1985 for the Chicago Chargers. Inducted into the American Football Association Semi-Pro Hall of Fame in 2002, Rucks would later serve on the Gladiators' (now known as the Racine Raiders) Board of Directors.[2][3]

Coaching career[edit]

High school[edit]

Rucks would go on to be an assistant coach from 1986 until 1988 at Niles North High School in Skokie, Illinois.

North Park[edit]

Rucks was the head college football coach for the North Park Vikings located in Chicago, Illinois. Having started as an assistant coach in 1989, Rucks was promoted to head coach in 1990 (having been the NCAA's youngest head coach at 29), holding that position until 1994.[4] His coaching record at North Park was 9 wins, 33 losses and 3 ties. As of the conclusion of the 2012 season, this ranks him #4 at North Park in total wins and #6 at the school in winning percentage (.233).[5][6]


After North Park, Rucks became the head coach for the Carthage Red Men located in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Before Rucks took over, the Red Men had not had a single winning season in their previous 13 years. Rucks quickly turned the team's fortunes around, accomplishing winning records in three of their first four seasons. In 2004, Rucks led the Red Men to their first Division III football playoff in 2004, advancing all the way to the quarterfinals. For that he was named the Coach of the Year for the CCIW and the Division III North Region.

In 2009, Rucks was named Wisconsin Private College Football Coach of the Year.

Rucks held that position until he stepped down following the 2012 season.[7] His coaching record at Carthage was 95 wins, 79 losses and 1 tie. As of the conclusion of the 2015 season, Rucks ranks #2 at Carthage in total wins (second only to the aforementioned Keller). He also ranks 3rd at the school in winning percentage (.546) for coaches with at least 30 games coached.[8]


After retiring as the coach, Rucks remained with Carthage as an assistant athletic director and academic advisor.[1]

In 2014, Rucks was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.[9]


On March 10, 2015, Rucks was found unconscious in his car, which had been in a one-car accident in Kenosha. Despite emergency crews' best efforts, they could not resuscitate him, pronouncing him dead soon after 1:24 p.m.[1][9]

His death was later ruled as a heart attack.[2]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs NCAA DIII#
North Park University (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) (1990–1994)
1990 North Park (IL) 1–8 1–7 8th
1991 North Park (IL) 0–9 0–8 9th
1992 North Park (IL) 1–6–2 1–4–2 6th
1993 North Park (IL) 4–4–1 2–4–1 5th
1994 North Park (IL) 3–6 1–6 T–7th
North Park (IL): 9–33–3 5–29–3
Carthage College (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) (1995–2012)
1995 Carthage (WI) 3–5–1 2–4–1 5th
1996 Carthage (WI) 3–6 3–4 T–5th
1997 Carthage (WI) 5–4 4–3 T–3rd
1998 Carthage (WI) 5–4 4–3 5th
1999 Carthage (WI) 5–4 4–3 T–4th
2000 Carthage (WI) 4–6 1–6 T–6th
2001 Carthage (WI) 6–4 3–4 5th
2002 Carthage (WI) 4–6 3–4 T–5th
2003 Carthage (WI) 3–7 1–6 7th
2004 Carthage (WI) 11–2 6–1 T–1st Quarterfinals DIII Playoffs 5
2005 Carthage (WI) 7–3 4–3 T–3rd
2006 Carthage (WI) 6–4 3–4 T–4th
2007 Carthage (WI) 7–3 4–3 4th
2008 Carthage (WI) 5–5 3–4 T–5th
2009 Carthage (WI) 7–3 4–3 T–3rd
2010 Carthage (WI) 6–4 3–4 T–5th
2011 Carthage (WI) 5–5 2–5 T–5th
2012 Carthage (WI) 3–7 1–3 7th
Carthage (WI): 95–79–1 55–67–1
Total: 104–112–4
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.

Table statistics[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Carthage community mourns loss of Coach Tim Rucks". Carthage College. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Former Gladiators player, Tim Rucks, dies". Racine Raiders. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Semi-Pro Hall of Fame". americanfootballassn.com. 
  4. ^ Shafer, Ian. "North Park University (All seasons results)". College Football Reference. Retrieved November 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ DeLassus, David. "North Park Vikings". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "All-time football records" (PDF). North Park Vikings. Retrieved November 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "All-time football records". Carthage Red Men. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ DeLassus, David. "Carthage Redmen". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Ex-Carthage football coach Rucks dies". KenoshaNews.com. Kenosha News. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  10. ^ DeLassus, David. "Tim Rucks Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 5, 2013.