Sheridan began its illustrious basketball program in 1968, and not long after hired a young coach from Saskatchewan named Dick Ruschiensky. Dick had a varied background, from CIAU basketball star, to oil-rig roughneck, to Miss Canada Tour Administrator to NCAA Basketball Coach, but he soon found his home at Sheridan.
In 1971 Dick began his tenure as Men’s Basketball Coach, and ran one of the better programs in the OCAA. Outstanding stars for his teams included Hall of Famer Nick Maandag and John Kostas who once scored 51 points in a single game.
In the 1972-73 season, Dick and the Bruins finished second in the South Division and attended the first OCAA Championship Tournament in Ottawa. Coach Ruschiensky was also the Golf Coach from 1971to 1992 and watched as his Bruin team won the OCAA team Championships in 1981-82 and 1983-84.
While Dick was a very busy coach, he also administered a variety of other sports, and eventually was asked to oversee other areas of student services, not the least of which was student government.
In 1979, Dick became Athletic Director and guided the Varsity Program through a period of dominance that may never be matched. The 1980’s saw the Bruins win Ontario Championships in virtually every sport, and dominate Men’s Basketball and Volleyball. He was Athletic Director when Sheridan won the Men’s National Volleyball Championship, and two National Championships in Basketball.
As the 1990’s progressed, Dick had to guide a department that was short on resources and long on demands. As Varsity programming teetered on the brink of extinction, he had to make some very difficult decisions, but somehow managed to keep the Bruin heart pumping through a very turbulent decade.
In the year 2000, after almost thirty years at Sheridan, Dick retired.
Through his long career as a Bruin, Dick saw the highs and lows of Varsity competition, both as an administrator and a coach, as well as a fan and a mentor. But perhaps his greatest achievement in his life is his family. Always a dedicated father and husband, Dick managed to achieve the delicate balance between family and career. His wife Carol and two daughters Brooke and Kristen are living testaments to Dick’s caring, sensitive and jovial nature.