Remembering Tony Bruce, Cal South Coaching Legend, Mentor, and Friend

by Steve Hoffman, Cal South Technical Director

(March 8, 2024) – My heart is truly broken today, as it is with great sadness that I announce our soccer family lost a true icon and friend, Tony Bruce, on March 7, 2024.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Tony Bruce’s family. To say his loss is a shock is a sincere understatement. Tony was a giant of a man, and he meant so much to the Cal South soccer community.

Coming from Scotland, he played his college soccer for Norman Jackson at El Camino College. As a youth player in Europe, he played for Drumchael Amateurs (Scotland) and Partick Thistle (Scotland), and later for Leeds Academy, Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers. As an adult in the United States, Bruce competed for the Los Angeles Aztecs and San Diego Jaws, both of the North American Soccer League (NASL) and for the California Sunshine of the American Soccer League (ASL). He also had 14 years of playing experience on a variety of teams in the Greater Los Angeles Professional League.

Tony jumped into coaching youth soccer, helping thousands of young soccer players through the past 45 years. He worked with Antelope Valley SC, Rampage SC, Fram SC, Surf SC, Real Salt Lake, and many more clubs in that span, coaching at every level in youth soccer, winning many championships along the way. He was a long-time fixture of the Cal South Coaching Education Staff, and served as a key member of the Cal South Olympic Development Program (ODP) as a head coach, scout, and mentor. He also worked at the Regional level for US Youth Soccer ODP.

He held several different coaching licenses, including the USSF National A, B and C, USSF National Youth, USSF National Goalkeeper, Brazilian B and C (Brusa), NSCAA Goalkeeper, and NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching licenses.

He served on the staff of numerous college programs in the Southern California area including CSUN, Cal State Dominguez Hills, El Camino Community College, Antelope Valley College, Mission College, and Loyola Marymount University. Most recently, Tony was an assistant coach at California University San Bernardino.

What a great person, friend, and mentor Tony was to so many young soccer players.

Today I have received so many messages talking about this great gentleman. No matter where Tony was he would always share his passion and love of the game with the players and coaches. My family was blessed to have been allowed to call Tony Bruce a friend and we love him with all of our hearts, and the hearts of the whole soccer community are broken. We will all miss this great man, but we will never forget the memories and the journey we took along with him.

RIP Tony Bruce  

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