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Bussard brothers teaching, coaching for Ceres Unified schools
Bussard brothers
Former Ceres High School multi-sport athletes Brent and Brad Bussard began their teaching careers with Ceres Unified School District this fall. Brent was hired to teach math at Mae Hensley Jr. High. Brad teaches physical education at Central Valley High School. The Bussard brothers will also help coach baseball and football at the high-school level. - photo by Dale Butler

The Bussard brothers, twins Brad and Brent, didn’t plan on following the same career path.

The former Ceres High School multi-sport athletes both decided to become teachers after subbing for Ceres Unified School District a year ago.

Brad (physical education) and Brent (math) were hired by Central Valley High School and Mae Hensley Jr. High, respectively, during the summertime.

“Ceres raised us both,” said Brad, 24. “Now we’re going to give back to the community.”

“It’s very special,” he added. “Some people aren’t lucky enough at my age to get a P.E. position. Central Valley gave me an opportunity. I’m definitely thankful.”

“We didn’t plan on working for the same school district,” said Brent, 24. “That’s how things worked out.”

“This position opened up and they hired me,” he added. “It’s really cool to teach at the junior high I went to and coach at the high school I went to. I was in their shoes not too long ago. It’s easy to connect with them. My desire for teaching and coaching comes from my love for kids. I want to help impact their lives as much as I can. Kids have a ton of potential.”

Brad teaches five periods of P.E.

“We have a great staff at Central Valley,” Brad said. “They’ve done a great job helping me out as much as they can and guiding me in the right direction. I’ve enjoyed my time so far. I’m hoping we can see our students (in person) soon.”

Brent teaches six periods of math.

“I love kids,” Brent said. “I love their potential. I want to help them learn from my mistakes and make better decisions. The biggest challenge is keeping kids motivated. I tell them I’m here to support them in any way I can and they have to try the best they can.”

Brad and Brent started their teaching careers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students have yet to return to campus.

“Everything is over Zoom,” Brad said. “It’s definitely different. Our biggest challenge is getting the students to turn on their cameras and participate. Sixty to 70 percent of the students are willing to do the workouts. If they’re not willing to turn their cameras on, they have alternative assignments to earn their points back. I want to help our students as much as possible during these tough times.”

“There’s a whole bunch of difficulties you face,” Brent said. “It (distance learning) puts a lot more responsibilities on the students. I remind them to stay positive, keep working hard and not give up. I can’t wait for them to be back in the classroom. We can’t do that right now because of the pandemic.”

Brad and Brent will also coach at the high-school level.

Brad will be an assistant varsity baseball coach at Central Valley. 

He’ll be offensive coordinator for the Hawks’ junior-varsity football team.

Brent will be an assistant varsity baseball coach at Ceres High for the second year in a row.

He’ll be defensive coordinator for the Bulldogs’ JV football squad.

“We’re trying to build the sports programs in Ceres,” Brad said. “I’m super excited. It’s definitely going to be fun to coach against each other. It will be a nice rivalry. It’s bragging rights for the whole year. I hope we get to play.”

“We want the city of Ceres to succeed,” Brent said. “But when we’re competing against each other, we’re on opposite sides. We will not be providing any help. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Brad earned bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology and communications from Holy Names University in 2019.

Brent earned a liberal studies degree from the same college.

They both played baseball for the Hawks.

The Bussards are currently working on their teaching credentials at Brandman University.

They’re also enrolled in master’s programs.

“It’s definitely a busy schedule,” Brad said. “A lot of time management is involved in everything.”

Brad and Brent are following in the footsteps of their father.

John, a former history and P.E. teacher, is Ceres High’s athletic director.

 “A lot of credit has to go to him and my mom (Susan),” Brad said. “They’ve done everything to help me become successful. My dad has been my mentor and best friend my entire life.”

“I have two amazing parents and a support system around me,” Brent said. “My dad has had a huge influence on my life. He’s been an outstanding role model.”

Brad and Brent graduated from Ceres High School in 2015.

The Bussards filled key roles while leading Ceres High’s baseball program to an 84-31-1 overall record, four Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths and two Western Athletic Conference titles from 2012-15.

Brad, a standout hitter, shortstop and pitcher, was voted WAC MVP during his senior year.

He batted .450 with three triples, four doubles, 19 RBIs, 15 runs and 10 stolen bases.

Brad had a perfect 5-0 record with a 1.18 ERA, three complete games and 34 strikeouts while pitching.

Brent had a breakout season with the Bulldogs his junior year. He earned second-team all-league honors. He missed first-team accolades by just one vote.

Brent batted .406 with one triple, two doubles, nine RBIs, 13 runs, one stolen base and a 1.000 fielding percentage.

He hit .222 with one double, six RBIs and eight RBIs in 2015.