Tony Uggen is coming home after 30 years. The 1983 Blackford graduate will soon be coming back to Hartford City to serve as the Bruins’ athletic director. Uggen is the longtime athletic director and baseball coach at Northfield.
He coached Northfield to two baseball state championships, leading the Norsemen to titles in 2001 and 2012.
“I’m in a state in my life where I felt like I’ve accomplished about everything that I could at Northfield as an athletic director and as a baseball coach,” Uggen said. “You’re only on Earth so many years and one of the things that stands out is this allows me the opportunity to make a difference.”
While Uggen said he is returning home, he is also leaving an adopted one. He’s spent more than 20 years working in various roles at Northfield, and he said it was hard to leave his current position. When he was interviewing for the Blackford position, he said he was content knowing that he was happy with his current position if he did not receive the position at his alma mater.
“I would never say anything bad about my experiences at Northfield,” Uggen said. “But I just felt like, and I don’t want to say it’s a calling, but I just felt like the time was right for me to move on and accept the new challenge at Blackford.”
Uggen will have some immediate orders of business to address when he takes over his new role. The Bruins have openings for a volleyball coach and a boys tennis coach in the fall, so new coaches will need to be hired quickly.
Uggen said he spoke at a Blackford fundraising event last fall, and felt the experience went positively. Now, he’s running those programs.
“We want to try to get back to where when you see Blackford play, that you know you’re in for a battle,” Uggen said. “But I’m also the type of person that for me personally, it’s not all about wins and losses, (it’s) preparing kids for getting ready for the real world. And I think that’s probably what I’ve been most proud of at Northfield.”