Northwest Florida State basketball coach Bruce Stewart has lost his fight with a brain tumor.

By: Scott Rossman Email
By: Scott Rossman Email

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.

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  • by Christina Location: Niceville Florida on Feb 10, 2012 at 08:07 PM
    I was a student of his, and I also saw him in Church. He was a great teacher, and coach. He was a very kind man, and this makes me so sad but he is with the Lord now and will be missed so much!!
  • by Kevin Location: Houston on Aug 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM
    I was at MTSU when Coach Stewart was there and he won some great games for us. I got to know him and he never failed to greet me when strolling through the gym. I am sad to learn of his passing.
  • by stokes Location: atlanta on May 31, 2011 at 07:28 PM
    I hate to hear this news.Coach Stewart was not only a great coach but a great teachers and always told me i would be a great coach. I just wish that i have half as fulfillin career Coach had you will be missed. Blessings and prayers to the Stewart family
  • by jamesjohnson Location: atlanta georgia on May 27, 2011 at 07:21 PM
    Hi my name is James L Johnson and i played and coached with bruce stewart and he was a one of those coaches who care and loved the game of basketball. I am a coach and he will be missed by many players and friends. I like to send my regards to the family who i knew quite well. If anyone has their phone number please email it to me.
  • by Bruce Williams Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana on May 27, 2011 at 05:42 PM
    I played under Coach Stewart in 97' at Hiwassee JC and 98' at OWCC. He was more then a coach to me. He was a great friend. He taught more then just basketball, he also taught how to be the best at whatever we strived to be in life. He was loved by many and he will never be forgotten. Coach I thank you for everything, u believed in me when no other coach did. My goal was to someday play division I basketball and you helped me achieve that. I love you and I will miss you. God called you home and I know you will be watching your family and ur players from heaven. RAIDER NATION LIVES ON!!!!!!
  • by James Location: Gray on May 25, 2011 at 06:23 AM
    Coach Stewart will be truly missed by many.. He has definitely played a significant role in my life not only as a basketball player but as a young productive man. Thanks alot Coach RIP.. Odoms and Family
  • by seth Location: Niceville FL on May 24, 2011 at 09:11 AM
    very sad! bruce was a great coach and even better human being
  • by Paula Sorrells on May 24, 2011 at 08:58 AM
    Bruce Stewart was one of the finest friends my family has ever had the pleasure of knowing. His coaching legacy is one that will be remembered as outstanding. His 'true' legacy is the wonderful family that he and Robin have raised. Brett, Brandon and Brooke, your dad always lit up when he spoke of you...continue to make him proud. He will always be in our hearts and so sadly missed. Paula & Frank Sorrells
8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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