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Bruns, Spooner will join Seawolf Hall of Fame on Sunday

Beth Bragg

One of the best bargains in school history and a hockey player with a knack for scoring goals will be inducted into the Seawolf Hall of Fame in a ceremony Sunday at UAA.

Charlie Bruns, a coach with the men's basketball program for 24 years, and Doug Spooner, the hockey program's second-leading goal scorer, will be honored in a 1 p.m. ceremony at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.

Bruns, who retired after the 2003-04 season, was a steal for the Seawolves.

He worked 10 years for free as a volunteer coach, serving under three head coaches -- Gary Bliss, Harry Larrabee and Ron Abegglen.

In 1990, Abegglen hired him as his top assistant. After three seasons in that job, Bruns was named the head coach, a position he held for 11 seasons.

Part-gym rat, part raconteur, Bruns kept road trips interesting with tales about growing up in New York, where sports were his life. He ran away from home once when his parents threatened to keep him out of basketball because his grades weren't good enough.

Bruns was a different man on the sideline, pacing, sweating, never sitting, always passionate. The jacket he wore at the start of a game seldom stayed on his back the entire 40 minutes.

He was named the Pac West Conference coach of the year three times, racked up a school-record 186 victories, coached five Pac West players of the year and guided the Seawolves to 10 victories over Division I schools at the Great Alaska Shootout.

In all, Bruns was a part of 692 games, 442 wins and 11 NCAA Division II tournaments. He retired after the 2003-04 season and lives in Washington with his wife, Colleen.

Numbers tell the tale of Spooner, who was part of UAA's banner years back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He scored 75 goals in four seasons, one goal shy of the team record. He helped the Seawolves to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments and four straight winning seasons from 1987-91.

Spooner, a native of Cache Creek, British Columbia, was part of a potent lineup that also included Dean Larson, Rob Conn and Derek Donald. He was the team's Rookie of the Year in 1987-88, the fan favorite in 1988-89 and the team captain in 1990-91.

His 148 points and 73 assists rank on UAA's career top 10 lists and his 50 points as a sophomore rank ninth on the single-season scoring list.

Spooner graduated in 1991 with a bachelor of arts in justice and lives in League City, Texas.

Spooner and Bruns make up the Hall of Fame's 12th class of inductees. Inductees are chosen by an committee consisting of UAA Athletics staff, coaches, boosters, volunteers and faculty members.

 


By BETH BRAGG
bbragg@adn.com