On paper, it might not look like Scott Bruening has athletic director experience.
But the former Greenfield Middle School and Waukesha North High School tech ed teacher, who was hired as Whitnall’s activities and athletic director in late July, has experience in the field that doesn’t show up on a resume.
Bruening’s father Gene was a teacher at West Allis Central for more than 20 years, and served as the high school’s athletic director for a decade.
“As the old adage goes, he taught me everything I know. I just don’t think he taught me everything he knows,” Scott Bruening said. “Be patient, be visible, get out there, talk to the coaches, talk to the athletes, talk to the parents. It’s always put your best foot forward.”
Scott Bruening, 35, spent the last nine years teaching at North High School in the city he grew up in. He’s been a coach of many sports, including football and girls volleyball, and understands the big picture that is athletic administration from the years watching his father perform the job.
But he’s the first to admit he expects there to be a learning curve as he adapts to his new position.
“It’s like learning to drink from a fire hose,” he said. “In terms of athletic administration, I got a late start being hired so late in the summer (July 23). But I’ve had the support and abilities of others to get me up to speed.”
Bruening steps into a revised role vacated by Rick Elertson, who resigned to take a job as a principal in Colorado. Elertson was an assistant high school principal and athletic director. Athletics are only a piece of the puzzle Bruening is tasked with putting together.
“The biggest goal is to get students involved and that’s in any capacity,” Bruening said. “Whether it’s being the manager for the football team or landing the starring role in Grease and everything in between.
“I want students to have a vested interest in their school, getting them to believe that this is there for you and what you do above and beyond is a great way to get involved. Whatever your choice is, there should be something for you here.”
Bruening said he’s excited to be a part of the Whitnall community, one that supports its athletic programs and extra curricular activities.