Basketball, teaching, and being both near and far

When Brian Rusch’24 visited Beloit College from his hometown in Edgerton, Wisconsin, he learned that it offered the academics and chance to play basketball that he was looking for — plus a bustling downtown.

An Edgerton, Wisconsin, native, Brian Rusch'24 has found a home at Beloit as a basketball player, student teacher, and future c... An Edgerton, Wisconsin, native, Brian Rusch’24 has found a home at Beloit as a basketball player, student teacher, and future coach. When Brian Rusch’24 was applying to college, he focused on Division III private colleges in Wisconsin, where he could both play basketball and prepare to become a high school teacher and coach. Growing up in a large family, Brian’s proximity to home was also important to him. Ironically, Beloit had not come up on his search, even though (or perhaps because) his father worked in Beloit, and a number of successful Beloit athletes had graduated from Brian’s high school in Edgerton, Wisconsin.

A chance encounter with a Beloit assistant basketball coach during a visit to another college changed that. The coach and Brian’s father knew each other, and as Brian learned more about Beloit and its basketball program, a campus visit began to appeal to him. When he arrived on campus, he realized he had found the college he’d been looking for. “The size of both the college and city felt right, as did the opportunities they offered,” Brian says.

Passionate about teaching others to play basketball, he also realized he stood to learn a great deal from men’s head basketball coach, Josh Hinz.

Now in his senior year, Brian remains convinced that his decision to attend Beloit was the right one. He’s been able to keep the option to teach social studies and coach at the high school level open by studying history and education. Applying his studies by student teaching in Beloit schools has been rewarding, and he’s improving his coaching skills by working with high school basketball players back home in Edgerton.

Brian mid-free throw for the Buccaneers. Brian mid-free throw for the Buccaneers.
Credit: Nigel Duff’23

Beloit College’s learning environment suits him. “Professors know my name,” he says. “They want me to succeed. They’re easy to talk to, whether I need help with an assignment or need to make arrangements to make up work. I might not have made it through college if I’d gone to a larger, more anonymous institution.”

His advice to future students? “Don’t worry about going to college too close to home. You can make college as close to home or as far from home as you need to. Sometimes I’ve felt the need to go home for a quick visit, but I’ve also stayed on campus for long periods without going home.”

Brian will officially graduate in May 2024, but has a fifth year at Beloit ahead of him to continue to student teach, take classes, and play basketball, having lost his first year of play to the pandemic. After that, he plans to earn a master’s degree in coaching.

“Beloit has been the perfect place for me. I’m preparing for my future and have had fun,” he says.

By: Elizabeth Brewer
November 02, 2023

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