Brusky takes over MCW’s AD job amid pandemic
TRIMONT — The middle of a pandemic affecting every aspect of life, school and sports, isn’t the easiest time to take over as a high school’s athletic director. Chad Brusky has done just that, grabbing the reins of Martin County West athletics.
“It has been pretty difficult considering all the changes due to Covid-19, but you know, luckily, Nate (Klima) is still on staff and he and I have been working really closely together to try to make sure we’re doing what we can for our coaches and students, especially in this time of uncertainty,” Brusky said.
For the past four years, Brusky has worked in the district’s administration as an elementary principal. He said the switch to athletic director came about because former athletic director Nate Klima wanted to move back to more of a teaching role.
Brusky said he is excited to fill the AD role because he knows how important sports can be.
“Growing up, I played sports all through high school,” Brusky said. “I played collegiate tennis through St. Mary’s, so I know just how important sports can be for a kid just to keep them in school and keep them motivated to keep coming even on tough days. It’s good to be back in that, I’d coached for years, 16 years in tennis and golf. It’s good to be back in the realm of sports and trying to help build a program where every kid can succeed or find some sort of activity that they want to be a part of.”
Klima and Brusky will split some of the traditional athletic director duties. Brusky said he will be taking over scheduling facilities and working with coaches for disciplinary issues and creating a coaches handbook.
“I want to make sure coaches can rely on one another and help create a culture that is Martin County West through all of our programs,” Brusky said. “… He (Klima) is doing all the game scheduling, hiring and number of coaches and things like that, I kind of work with the finances.”
Brusky said entering a new position of authority during a pandemic has been difficult, especially after the Minnesota State High School League’s decisions around sports. He said coaches and athletes want to return to more normal situations, sometimes without considering necessary changes.
“We’ve got coaches that are passionate about working with kids and wanting to get going,” Brusky said. “But when we don’t know what some of these things look like because we’re waiting for guidance, it can be frustrating. … I like to have things planned out pretty far ahead so that coaches can make plans. I’m looking forward to getting back to normal so that I can provide our coaches with the information they need to make more long-range plans.”
Brusky came to MCW with a teaching, counseling and coaching history. He said he started as a counselor, returning to his home high school, St. Mary’s Springs Academy in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, then went on to coach and teach at North Branch High School and Elk River High School, teaching biology and physics before transitioning to administrative work in the past six years.
“I’m from a smaller town in Wisconsin,” Brusky said. “… We lived out in the holy lands, which is like, towns of 600 or so. This area, it really feels like home to me, I grew up being surrounded by farm fields, we have a little orchard and I’d spent 11 years in the twin cities and I was like a fish out of water there. It’s really nice to come back, just the way people look out for each other and help each other. It’s a pretty incredible area.”
With the mix of experiences Brusky brings to his new role comes new goals. He said there are a couple long-term goals he would like to achieve as MCW’s athletic director.
“Exploring additional opportunities for kids who maybe have interests that haven’t been served before,” Brusky said. “And trying to find staff members willing to take a chance on, you know, different types of clubs or possibly even looking at additional types of activities, so that those kids can have someplace to go and something other than academics to identify as a Maverick.
“That would be my top goal.”