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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation September 23, 2017

6/13/2017 11:54:00 AM
New volleyball coach is in for the long haul
Rory Rush is Sisters High School’s new volleyball coach. photo by Rongi Yost
+ click to enlarge
Rory Rush is Sisters High School’s new volleyball coach. photo by Rongi Yost

By Rongi Yost

Rory Rush was recently hired as the new Sisters High School head volleyball coach. She told The Nugget she plans to stick around for the long haul. Rush is the fourth coach the varsity squad has had in the past four years.

Rush has volleyball in her blood and has been playing or coaching the game since she was in elementary school. Rory played at setter in middle school and went on as setter for North Eugene High School. After high school, Rush attended Concordia University where she was a setter and also a defensive specialist.

While in high school, Rush started coaching at the elementary level, and in college coached through the Boys and Girls Club, and at youth centers.

"That's what started my love of working with kids," said Rush. "I love the sport and I love the friendships and the competitiveness."

Rush graduated from college in 1995, and took a brief break from coaching to get married and start a family. Rory and her husband, Chad, have four children: Gabi (20); Isaiah (17); Ellie (14); and Sophia (10).

In 1998, Rush started her coaching career as a junior varsity coach at Portland Lutheran. She was the assistant for one year, and took over the program a year later. Rush coached at Portland Lutheran for 16 years.

In 2014, Rory's husband lost his job and the family moved to Salem. Rush didn't waste time, and got a job at Western Mennonite as their volleyball coach and was there from 2014 through the fall of 2017. In addition to coaching high school volleyball, Rush has coached club volleyball for the past 15 years.

Recently, Rory's husband found himself in a similar job situation, and with more duties being added to his job, he no longer wanted the position, and the family was up for a move.

Rush said, "My husband wanted something new, and volleyball-wise I wanted to be where the program was more competitive. While I was coaching club, the opening for Sisters' volleyball coach was posted and I thought to myself, Why not? and came over and applied."

Rory applied in February and was notified in April that she got the job. The family hopes to make the move from Salem to Sisters in the very near future.

Rush shared with The Nugget what is important to her as a coach.

"As a coach, it's important for me to teach fundamentals, to teach the knowledge of the game, but to also teach life lessons."

When volleyball starts up mid-August, Rush has three main goals she hopes the team can accomplish.

"I want to continue to be competitive, win the league title, and bring some stability to the program," said Rush. "I'd like to really build the program at the younger levels so there's an excitement when they get to high school.

"I plan to be around for a long time. I have two daughters that will be in the program. I want them to have success, and once they leave to look back and have great memories of their time here."

Athletic Director Gary Thorson is excited to have Rush on board.

"Rory brings a great amount of experience in volleyball, having coached the sport at both the high school and club setting, as well as a variety of other levels," said Thorson. "She has a great understanding of what it takes to build an entire program. She also has a firm grasp of understanding the importance of installing a team first and family approach from within the program, which is so needed in all of high school athletics. We are lucky to have her leading our program and welcome her and her family into the Sisters community."

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