After 21 years in the coaching industry, Jeff Nuner will have his chance as a head coach under the Friday night lights next fall after he was named as the next head man at Bruceville-Eddy this past Friday.
Nuner has served as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles the past two seasons. He’ll replace his former boss Kyle Shoppach, who stepped down in February after accepting a job in administration at West ISD.
“I’m extremely excited to have been named the athletic director and head football coach at Bruceville-Eddy,”
“My initial goal for every program is to continue what we have put in place over the past two years, which has been developing strength, speed, and the ability to respond to adversity.”
As aforementioned, Nuner has plenty of experience as an assistant coach under his belt. He started out in his hometown, Crockett, Texas, where he coached for 11 years until 2011. He then spent five years at Robinson High School before moving on to University High School in Waco for three years. After leaving University, Nuner has been at Bruceville-Eddy the past two years.
Located 20 miles south of Waco, Bruceville-Eddy is a small town just off I-35 with a population of 1,697. With an enrollment of 214 students, its high school competes in District 12-2A Division I.
Its football team finished 3-6 this past year, just one season after going 9-2 and winning the District 12-2A Division I title. It was the first nine-win regular season in school history and the school’s first district title in 34 years. However, like most other teams playing amid a pandemic, the fall 2020 season brought its share of struggles.
“Our record in football this past season was not what we had hoped for and worked toward, but that’s the nature of competition,”
“We played below our standards in one game and we had to forfeit one district game which could have put us into the playoffs.”
Looking forward to this upcoming season, Colby Tolbert will be a big returner on both sides of the ball. He racked up 85 tackles last year as a linebacker and also caught 11 passes for 201 yards offensively, earning first team all-district honors. Hunter Diaz, who was second on the team with 478 rushing yards, will also be back.
The Eagles will need Tolbert and Diaz to assume large roles again this year after their starting quarterback, leading receiver, and both defensive players that earned first team honors last year graduated.
Nuner also said that he is excited to have depth coming up from the junior varsity football squads.
“We do have some holes to fill again this year, but that’s what happens in high school football, you adapt and overcome,”
“We have played two complete junior varsity football seasons and having younger players with actual game reps help the next man up be ready fill those holes.”
Playoffs have been a rarity as of late in Bruceville-Eddy with only two postseason appearances in the past 35 years. However, with 2019’s district title not too far in the rear view mirror, Nuner will hope that the Eagles will be able to soar back to those heights again in his first year as a head coach.
“Our kids work hard and do what they are asked to do,”
“As long as we keep that in place, we will have a shot.”