Niceville, FL--The folks associated with Northwest Florida State College continue to mourn the passing of that school's long time head coach Bruce Stewart. Coach Stewart died Monday night, losing his battle with a brain tumor. The 57 year old diagnosed back in September, took a leave this season, then resigned his job back in March. In his 13 years he not only won 317 games, 5 conference and 3 state championships, he had a positive influence on scores of young men who played for him, here are some thoughts from two of them.
Stewart player '06-'07
"He was always intense on the court, he always wanted the best out of all his players. And he just pushed me harder. Sure he'd criticize me sometimes, but he'd always build me back up."
NWF Redshirt Freshman
"He was a great basketball coach but he taught us than basketball. He taught us life lessons, how to be successful in the world today. And never give up, obviously, he was a fighter and he never gave up and he never let us give up, pushed us farther than we could go."
Dr. Ty Handy
"Many players and many young students never lost someone that they respected, or cared for. So it's a learning moment for them, it's a chance to grow. And so what I hope they will carry with them is you can be an ethical man, you can be a family man, you can be a Godly man, and you can still be a competitive coach who wants to win and wants to achieve. And Bruce found that appropriate balance in all those areas, and it showed in everything he did."
Visitation for Coach Stewart Thursday 6 to 8 at Heritage Garden Funeral Home in Niceville, the funeral set for First Baptist of Niceville Friday at 11.