Chris Long Brunkhorst

Chris Long Brunkhorst

Athlete Class of 1979

A three-sport athlete, Chris earned ten letters in basketball, cross-country, and track while at Southwest—but basketball was her passion. A four-year starter, she was All-City her sophomore, junior, and senior seasons and each year led the team in scoring and assists. In the off-season, Chris could often be seen pedaling to parks across the city looking for a good game. She once played in a pickup game with Bill Duffy on a deserted Williams Arena court, Jim Pederson in St. Louis Park, even Prince on an afternoon in 1977 at Linden Hills. She was a counselor/coach each summer at Jim Dutcher’s basketball camp where she tried, to no avail, to teach Janet Karvonen how to dribble behind her back and throw a no-look pass.

Co-captain of cross-country and captain of basketball, Chris was the Athena Award winner in 1979. She was a member of the National Honor Society and poetry editor of the Woyake. She wrote for the school newspaper all four years, and had a column her senior year entitled “The Short and Long of It.” She won the School Service Award her senior year.

After high school Chris earned a scholarship to Santa Clara University where she played point guard for the D-1 Broncos, winning a spot on the All-Academic team and playing on some amazing courts—including Maples Pavilion at Stanford. At SCU she worked on the newspaper and literary magazine, eventually becoming Opinion Page Editor and Poetry Editor. She won the Shipsey Poetry Prize, graduated cum laude in English and went on to earn an M.A. in journalism from Marquette. She’s had a satisfying career teaching English, coaching basketball, and moderating student newspapers—first at North Hennepin Community College and then at St. Thomas Academy where she was awarded the Teacher Excellence Award in 2012.

Although Chris is rarely invited into a pickup game these days, she remains at heart a gym-rat and continues to enjoy schooling neighborhood kids at backyard hoops. She has two grown children (Megan, a teacher at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and one-time assistant girl’s swim coach at Southwest, and Paul, an attorney in Chicago). She is a free-lance writer and teaches English as a second language to adult immigrants at a school on 22nd and Nicollet. She and her husband, Jay, live near Lake Nokomis.