Jaime Ruud of Lincoln, mother of current Nebraska football player Bo Ruud and ex-Husker Barrett Ruud, died Friday in Crosslake, Minn., of a heart attack. She was 52. Jaime is survived by her husband, Tom, and their children, Barrett, Bo and Kim. Tom Ruud played football for the Huskers in the early 1970s and later in the National Football League.
Barrett completed his eligibility at Nebraska in 2004 as the school’s career tackles leader. He currently plays for the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bo, a junior, was NU’s third-leading tackler last season.
In a May interview with the Journal Star, Jaime Ruud was asked to describe her most joyful event as a sports mom.
“Actually, I have two,” she said. “One was Barrett’s senior year (at Lincoln Southeast) and Bo was a sophomore and we took state in football. And the other was Kimmy making it to state basketball her senior year. To have Barrett and Bo play together and win was really, really neat.”
Jaime Ruud was a nationally known nutrition consultant.
Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan said the Ruud family “holds a very special relationship with everyone associated with Nebraska football.”
“This is a great loss to our Husker family, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ruuds during this difficult time,” Callahan said in a prepared statement. “It’s been a privilege to coach both of Jaime’s sons. They are great young men, and that is a reflection on both her and Tom.”
Callahan noted that Jaime helped establish the Husker football parents’ group, which organized various activities and had its own Web site.
Monica Rigoni worked with Jaime on the NU parents’ group and similar groups at Lincoln Southeast High School and for Midget Football. Rigoni, whose son Brandon is on the Husker football team, said she was “shocked” to hear the news.
“Our kids have gone to school together since kindergarten. Jaime was always willing to pitch in and help whenever asked,” Rigoni said. “I thought about Jaime all day today and about all the places where we’d run into each other. It’s going to be different to go to Nebraska football games and to not see her there.”
Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson described Jaime as a “dynamic, warm and thoughtful person.”
“In raising great children, she left the greatest legacy a mother can leave,” Pederson said. “Everyone in our athletic department family is saddened by this tragic news.”