By Josh Neuhart
Grace College Sports Information
WINONA LAKE – Tyler Brueckman of Grace’s men’s soccer team was given the NCCAA’s most prestigious men’s soccer award at the end of the season.
Brueckman was the recipient of this year’s Kyle Rote Jr. Award, given to honor the outstanding NCCAA Div. I men’s soccer player. The award recipient must demonstrate excellence in Christian testimony, athletic ability, leadership and academic standing.
Brueckman, a native of Tipp City, Ohio, has served as a midfield threat for the Lancers since his freshman year on the pitch. Playing a total of 46 games, Brueckman has tallied five career goals and three assists.
As a freshman he helped his team capture their first conference championship in 25 years, helping them to their first NAIA tournament appearance in 35 years.
With Brueckman’s encouraging vocal presence on the field, the Lancers have made three consecutive trips to the NCCAA National Tournament. Grace was the national runner-up in 2019 before capturing the 2020 national title, the first soccer national championship in team history. The Lancers dominated Bethel 4-0 in the title bout.
Brueckman is a well-rounded student-athlete. He studies health sciences (3.83 GPA) and has been honored as an NAIA and NCCAA Scholar-Athlete.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brueckman was the face of Grace’s marathon fundraiser which raised $20,000 for COVID-19 relief efforts. His leadership, organization and encouragement to others helped make the fundraiser a success. He was interviewed by numerous print and television outlets, including ESPN’s Outside the Lines with host Ryan Smith.
Brueckman also serves as a certified nursing assistant at a local nursing home, team representative for Grace’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and works as a lab assistant for biology and chemistry classes.
“Tyler is positive and upbeat in his communication and is always looking for ways to serve his teammates,” said Grace coach Arron Patrick. “He is a great example of someone who does his job and shows his teammates how to lead with a servant’s heart. He is consistently full of joy and reflects Christ in his actions.”