Linda ‘Coach’ Bruns dies

Coach Braun dies

Linda Bruns, also known as “Coach,” died in her Flagstaff home on Oct. 16, 2008. She was 65.

Known for inspiring young women to achieve in the classroom, basketball court and life, Ms. Bruns coached women’s basketball at Northern Arizona University from 1990 through 1993.

“She was an outstanding coach,” said Dave Brown, NAU Skydome manager. “Her leadership in women’s basketball helped develop and grow the sport.”

Born Oct. 18, 1942, in her family’s farmhouse in Ansley, Neb., she was a graduate of Great Falls High School and the University of Montana. Ms. Bruns taught high school in Liberty, N.Y.; Spokane, Wash.; Turlock, Calif. and in Kotsebuhe, Alaska, 26 miles above the Arctic Circle.

Ms. Bruns also coached women’s college basketball at the University of Alaska at Anchorage and built the program into a Division II national contender. The team won three Continental Divide championships, and Ms. Bruns was Conference Coach of the Year for two years.

After 29 years of coaching and teaching, Ms. Bruns opened the Coaches Club restaurant in Flagstaff. She also spent years helping residents of the senior assisted living facility, Loyalton.

She is survived by Sharon Falor and Annie Falor of Flagstaff; her sisters, Kay Thares of Great Falls, Mont., and Marlene (Jim) Becker of Pocatello, Idaho; her brothers, Ed (Bonnie) Wood of Barrago Springs, Calif., Jerry (Becky) Wood of Farmington, N.M.; Mike Wood of Helena, Mont., and Randy (Patty) Wood of Helena, and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial donations to the Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff at 11665 N. Highway 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86004. In addition, a teaching and coaching endowment to support the professional advancement of teachers, coaches and sponsors, is being established at Flagstaff High School in her name.

A celebration of Ms. Bruns’ life will begin at 3 p.m. today, Oct. 22, at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, 423 N. Beaver St. in Flagstaff.