Senior staff writer
Roncalli assistant coach for 41 years
“He played at Butler with Bill Kuntz, who was later head coach at Roncalli, and he brought Bruce onto the coaching staff. My first impressions are the same ones I have now. He was a hard-nosed, very intensive football coach. He also had a side of him that liked to have fun too. He had a great sense of humor. When he hit the football field – I have heard this from Bill Kuntz and Bob Bartolomeo – when he got the football he just dared anyone to stop him. There was a high level of intensity. He was always ready for the next play.
“In 1990 when Joe Hollowell hired him to be the head coach, he realized Bruce was a person of faith. That was part of the reason he was drawn to Bruce: He was a person of faith and was not afraid to talk about it in front of kids. It has a uniting effect upon players. It’s an additional piece of the puzzle when you’re working with high school kids – they’re playing for their school, their families, their faith and their community.
“He was most proud that when players left here they were better men than when they came to him. We talk to them all the time about being good fathers and husbands, students and learners. When you put all that first, becoming a good football player just happens.
“He is working with a different age group now (Catholic Youth Organization). What CYO does best is also what we do: You are trying to create a culture, an atmosphere where kids feel free to grow into the person that God created them to be. Bruce now has an opportunity to influence those men and women who will influence those kids.”
TONY SCHOTT, Roncalli senior tight end/linebacker
“He has led me to be a better man. He taught me how to believe in my faith and express my faith. Before every game he always said to bring Christ with you onto the field and with your faith, you’ll be more powerful and play better.
“He was a great coach. He always was very encouraging. If you made a mistake he would be upset with you, but he would tell you to go out there and go 100 percent the next time. He always was ready to move on to the next play, the next game.
“After a win he would always congratulate us; but he would tell us that there was another job to do next week, so he wanted us to have a short memory. The state championship (2016) was a goal. We took it one game at a time, but when the playoffs began we began to realize that we could really do it last year. I thank him for everything he has meant to me and everything he has done for me.”
2004 Indiana Mr. Football, financial consultant
“He was more of a life mentor than just a coach. He really does preach the faith family before football. He truly lives it, believes it. Unless you’re around it enough or hear him talk to the team and interact with the players, he truly promotes it, believes it, acts it. I think that really trickles down into the culture of the teams that he has coached. It all has to do with developing character and not just developing football players. Not only has that had a positive effect on everybody’s football careers but more importantly raising them to become men.
“He treats the team as a family. He believes that and he really puts that across. Players get that from the time they are a freshman as a family and they get that from the time they are a freshman and all the way up. I truly think that tradition began with the values that a coach like Bruce Scifres brings to the program. That’s the reason this program has been as successful as it has for 27 years.”
SCOTT MARSH, Roncalli football coach
“As much reverence and love that I have for coach Scifres, I know I can’t be coach Scifres. … These players have known only one name at the top of the program here.
Last year (as assistant coach) was invaluable because it enabled me to soak in everything that is at Roncalli. I understand the values, the mission of the school and the commitment to faith. Those are just as important, even more so, than football.
There are a lot of stakeholders in this program – alumni, parents, students and the entire Southside Catholic community. I have an obligation to do this the right way for each of those stakeholders, individually. I want to do everything that is true to the Roncalli Way.
Football is an important activity for players, students, families and the Southside Catholic community. It is a blessing to coach kids in this kind of environment. The traditions that have been built here by so many great players, coach Scifres and assistant coaches, how could you not embrace that?”
JOE HOLLOWELL, Roncalli president
“Bruce is truly a master of his craft as a teacher, football coach, tactician and motivator. He has emerged as a statewide and national leader in the dialogue regarding the proper role of sport in the formation of young people. This position (CYO) certainly seems like a great fit for Bruce, and I am certain that the youth of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis will be blessed through his hard work.”
CHUCK WEISENBACH, Roncalli principal
“As the parent of two former players in the football program and as principal, I frequently would tell Bruce that we could not have had a better person leading our program. No football coach in Indiana has done a better job in leading young men and being instrumental in their development of life skills. His impact on the program and our school will be sorely missed.”