Longtime Edge, IWU assistant Ruud promoted to Edge head coach

Nick Ruud
Nick Ruud was named the new head coach of the Bloomington Edge on Tuesday at a news conference in Bloomington. (Photo courtesy iwusports.com)

By Eric Stock and Howard Pakowitz

BLOOMINGTON – Nick Ruud has been an offensive lineman and assistant coach for the Bloomington Edge and, previously, the Extreme for all but one year of the team’s existence.

The 37-year-old Moline native was named the team’s head coach at a news conference Tuesday.

Ruud said the community is a big selling point to get the right athletes here.

“I came here as a player,” Ruud said. “I didn’t know I was going to stay. I fell in love with the town, got a couple of coaching jobs. I raise my family here. It’s just a great place to live and I think guys that come in will see that.

Ruud said there’s a lot to be excited about in arena football.

“Plenty of high scoring games, 50, 60, 70 points,” Ruud said. “People are going to get excited. We’ve got great athletes here. A lot of the local guys are still here. The players we’ll bring in will be exciting. Obviously, we want to put points on the board and have some fun out there.”

Ruud is also the offensive line and tight end coach for IWU and previously coached the running backs. He’ll remain on staff with Wesleyan because they play at different times.

Ruud said he’s learned a lot about organization, ownership, and commitment from IWU coach Norm Eash.

“These are points he drives home with those kids,” Ruud said. “At Division III, those kids aren’t being paid money, but they’re putting in countless hours in, and at a school that is very difficult as far as education goes. So the commitment level that is needed and that you get out of those kids is awesome, and he does a really nice job preaching that.”

Ruud is married and has two young daughters.

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…