Niceville, FL--There is some very sad news out of Okaloosa county. Former Northwest Florida State Head Basketball Coach Bruce Stewart died around five o'clock Monday night at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, losing his battle with a brain tumor. That news coming from the school's Sports Information Director Ramsey Ross.
Stewart diagnosed with glioblastoma just 8 months ago. He took a leave from coaching to take on aggressive treatment at Shands in Gainesville as well as the local hospital. His condition simply would not allow him to return to the bench, and though he remained an instructor at the college, coach resigned as head basketball coach March 20th. In his 13 seasons guiding the Raiders program Bruce won 317 games, lost just 82. Five times his teams won the Panhandle Conference title, three of those teams went on to
win state championship, all three times finishing 6th at Nationals.
He's responsible for scores of young men moving on to finish their educations, and many played ball at four year schools.
More importantly he was an integral part of the college in a variety of ways, beloved by thousands of Raiders past and present. From my standpoint, he was the consumate professional, always forthright and accessible, a great ambassador for the game and his school.
Coach Stewart died with his wife, daughter and two sons at his side, he was 57. Funeral services have not been set, but we'll pass those along once we know. Our condolences go out to Stewart's immediate, and extended college family. We will all miss him.