BUFFALO - Russell-Tyler-Ruthton graduate and former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Todd Bouman was hired this week to be the head coach of the Buffalo High School football program.
Bouman, who spent 14 seasons in the NFL from 1997 to 2010, played 27 games in the league, throwing for 1,905 yards with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He said he has experienced football from both sides of the spectrum.
"I can relate a lot to high school athletes because I have been the guy who leads the team and I have been one of the last guys picked for the team," Bouman said.
After a prep sports career at RTR, where Bouman earned all-state honors in football, basketball and track and field, he landed at St. Cloud State in 1992 to begin a college football career that saw him throw for 4,354 yards and complete 326 pass (including 30 touchdowns) for three years as the Huskies signal-caller.
Bouman believes he can teach life experiences to athletes through football.
"Football is so much more than just a game of X's and O's, which are only a small part of it," Bouman said. "It's about creating a strong work-ethic, building character, showing up on time. All of those qualities can be used as a teaching tool in everyday life. There is nothing harder, but also more gratifying than coaching football."
The Bison has gone 12-26 the last four years under head coach Gerard Rohl, who has been at the helm since 1992. Buffalo went a combined 17-4 during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, reaching the Class 5A Section 8 Tournament championship game in 2008.
"We want to build off the success Buffalo has experienced under Coach Rohl, who has been coaching at the school for 34 years." Bouman said.
Rohl has a record of 118-94 at Buffalo.
Bouman was impressed by the support the Bison receive.
"The community of Buffalo really supports its athletes," Bouman said. "At the boys basketball state tournament last week, I think they brought 25 fan buses to Minneapolis. I've never seen that amount of support before. But it's also how well the administrators, teachers and students interact with each other that really impressed me."
Bouman knows building trust with Buffalo's athletes will be an important part of experiencing success.
"I want to be a coach that can build a rapport with the kids by being there for them and supporting them in any way I can," Bouman said.
Bouman was a volunteer assistant coach at Buffalo from 2007 to 2012. In 2013, Bouman served as an assistant coach at Pipestone Area, which is guided by head coach Troy Bouman.