C.J. Brucki Wrestling
- 1st Place IHSA 3A State Championships (2013)
- NCAA Qualifier (2017, 2018)
- 1st Place Michigan State Open (2017)
- 1st Place Cleveland State Open (2016)
- 1st Place Alma Open (2016)
- 1st Place Edinboro Open (2016)
- 3rd Place MAC Championships (2017)
- 5th Place Midlands Championships (2018)
- 3rd Place Dave Schultz Memorial (2019)
- 5th Place ASICS University Nationals (2016)
- 174 lbs
- Sandburg High School
- Central Michigan University
- College of New Jersey (coaching)
C.J. Brucki Biography
CJ Brucki was born in Orland Park, a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, and a suburb of Chicago.
Gifted with natural athleticism, CJ's first sporting passion was football, an activity in which he excelled during high school. Although the pitch was ever-present in Brucki's prospects of an athletic career, he decided to join his HS's wrestling team as a fun undertaking to break the routine. This semi-blasé attitude towards the mat would change after CJ's first state championships experience.
At the time of his Michigan State Championship wrestling debut, CJ was ranked sixth in the 160-pound division in Class 3A. His lack of experience at a state level meant he was on no one's radar as a potential champion. Once he defeated unbeaten prospect, Davonte Mahomes of Oak Park River Forest, in the quarterfinals, heads started turning his way. That change of tone was only improved upon after he beat Brother Rice's Nuntreae Jackson in the semis and Hersey's Hunter Rollins for the state championship match.
During a 2013 interview to the Chicago Tribune website, CJ explained this change in posture at the time:
"It used to be all football for me," he said. "It was my main sport for sure. It never really changed until the state tournament. After that weekend, I received calls from D1 schools that were interested in me. I found the one that was the right fit. I have the opportunity to get a great education and get to wrestle and train to get in the best shape of my life."
As referenced, winning the state crown placed Brucki on the radar of many collegiate wrestling programs, one of those was Division I Central Michigan, which made a successful offer for CJ's expertise. To make up for his lack of experience CJ spent a good chunk of his summer on campus taking classes and working out with the team.
Being in a D1 team while having less mat experience than his colleagues, meant CJ had to be patient, wait for his turn, and create the opportunity to become a starting lineup member. After a solid 2016 campaign where Brucki amassed undefeated records at the Cleveland State Open, Alma Open, and Edinboro Open, the coast was clear for the Illinois native to shine - and shine he did.
After a solid career in Michigan where competed in the NCAA and earned All-American status twice, Brucki took a position as the Director of Wrestling Operations at The College of New Jersey Athletics.
Step Over & Hip Slide by CJ Brucki