December 21, 1960|
Waukegan, Illinois, US
|Died||March 10, 2015
Kenosha, Wisconsin, US
|Alma mater||Carthage College|
|1983||New York Jets|
|1984||Racine Gladiators (NSFL)|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1986–1988||Niles North HS (Assistant)|
|1989||North Park (Assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
Tim Rucks (December 21, 1960 – March 10, 2015) was an American football player and coach in the US.
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. 
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.
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. 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).
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. 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.
After retiring as the coach, Rucks remained with Carthage as an assistant athletic director and academic advisor.
In 2014, Rucks was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
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.
His death was later ruled as a heart attack.
Head coaching record
|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)|
|2004||Carthage (WI)||11–2||6–1||T–1st||Quarterfinals DIII Playoffs||5|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.|
- "Carthage community mourns loss of Coach Tim Rucks". Carthage College. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
- "Former Gladiators player, Tim Rucks, dies". Racine Raiders. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
- "Semi-Pro Hall of Fame". americanfootballassn.com.
- Shafer, Ian. "North Park University (All seasons results)". College Football Reference. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- DeLassus, David. "North Park Vikings". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "All-time football records" (PDF). North Park Vikings. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "All-time football records". Carthage Red Men. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- DeLassus, David. "Carthage Redmen". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- "Ex-Carthage football coach Rucks dies". KenoshaNews.com. Kenosha News. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
- DeLassus, David. "Tim Rucks Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved October 5, 2013.