The beginning of another football season has always been a big day for Cody Bruns.
Hitting the field again Monday, though, held a special kind of meaning for Bruns, whose father, Bucky Bruns, passed away suddenly last month at age 60 (details here).
The comfort of the routine of another football season, he said, is especially welcomed after a month dealing with life’s harshest reality.
“It’s nice to be around the guys and the coaches and the players,” he said. “Everybody has been nothing but supportive through the whole thing and it’s brought me closer to my teammates. I’m really looking forward to the season.”
Bruns said he will dedicate this year to his father, a fitting tribute since football was a true family affair in the Bruns household.
Bucky Bruns was a three-sport star at Prosser who later played collegiately at Idaho.
When Cody followed in his foosteps a couple decades later, comparisons were natural.
“Growing up it was always ‘are you going to be better than your dad?”’ he said. “That’s how it always was and that was always over my shoulder.”
Father, though, was also the son’s biggest supporter, through the years as a record-setting receiver at Prosser and then to his career at UW.
Cody Bruns will be a senior this year for the Huskies, vying for a role in the receiving rotation and also playing a key position on special teams as a holder on place kicks and possibly as a punt returner.
While Bucky Bruns had a long-standing pancreatic illness, his death was unexpected. “It kind of came out of nowhere,” said Cody Bruns.
He takes comfort now being back on the field — where he knows his father would want him to be — and in the words of encouragement from fellow players, coaches and friends at UW and Prosser.
“There’s been a lot of good support,” he said. “It just shows how great the people are in that area and all the friends he had. It’s just nice to have those kinds of people around.”