Bruce A. Bouck
Step inside Schalmont High School, turn to the right, and you’ll find a display case filled with cherished trophies, championship baseballs and a proudly worn uniform. Stare at the silent photos, and you just might hear the crack of a baseball bat on a warm day in May. That sound was a big part of Bruce Bouck’s life. In Schalmont, that sound and his memory live on every spring.
Bouck was a Schalmont physical education teacher and coach for over 25 years. As his widow, Cindy, remembers, “He liked teaching, but he loved coaching.” Bouck coached football from 1963-1974 and basketball from 1963-1982, but his most enduring passion was baseball, which he coached from 1963-1989. His career as a baseball coach earned him 300 victories, a sectional championship, and the title of Capital District Baseball Coach of the Year in 1977. His sudden death in 1989, just before his varsity baseball team took the field was shocking for many.
Craig Sargent, a retired Schalmont Middle School teacher, became very close with Bouck because they carpooled to work for several years. “He was a wonderful coach, teacher and father,” said Sargent, who described him as someone with “old-school” values who believed in the value of sacrifice on the athletic field as well as at home. “He was a true professional in all regards.”
In 1989, Sargent and other members of the Schalmont community formed the Bruce Bouck Memorial Committee. They established the previously mentioned memorial display case, a memorial scholarship fund to help Schalmont student athletes pay for college, and the Bruce A. Bouck Memorial Baseball Tournament in his honor.
In 2008, now retired Varsity Baseball Coach and Middle School teacher Robert Anderson who once played for Bouck, organized the rededication of the baseball diamond in Bruce’s honor with ceremony with members of the Bouck family and the sectional champion 1978 Varsity Baseball Team. Anderson recently passed Bouck's career win total in 2014. Chris Amorosi was a member of the Section II Class B Champion 1978 Varsity Baseball Team. He remembers Bruce Bouck as a fair coach who demanded respect. “We practiced very hard, but when it was time to have fun, we had fun,” said Amorosi.
The Bruce A. Bouck Memorial Baseball Tournament included two rounds of baseball games between four participating high schools with Schalmont as the host school. The tournament was retired in 2018 due to weather rescheduling conflicts. In it's place a Bruce Bouck Memorial Series which is a best of three series between crosstown rivals Schalmont and Mohonasen. It’s been a long time since Coach Bouck walked the halls and fields of Schalmont, but his legacy and memory lives on in the hardworking, winning spirit he still inspires.