By Rongi Yost

Rush will lead basketball squad


Last updated 12/8/2021 at Noon

Chad Rush is the new head coach for the boys varsity basketball program at Sisters High School. He will bring with him personal experience, as well as numerous years of coaching experience.

Chad grew up in a sports family and started dribbling the basketball as soon as he could walk. He played basketball all through middle school and high school. He played basketball and baseball his sophomore through senior years at Mennonite High School in Salem, where he graduated in 1989.

He earned a scholarship for both basketball and baseball to Heston College, a two-year junior college in Kansas, and played for them for two years. During spring break he flew to Florida, decided he liked the warm weather, took a year off from sports, and attended Florida Southern College.

Chad told The Nugget that he missed basketball too much, so went back to Oregon and played basketball for Concordia College for two years. He graduated from Concordia with a bachelor’s in international business.

After graduation, he was hired as the assistant boys basketball coach at Concordia College. He was there for just one year and then spent the next 16 years at Portland Lutheran High School (PLHS).

Chad taught for 16 years at PLHS, a small school of approximately 90 students, as their Health and PE teacher, was their athletic director, and for 12 of the 16 years was the high school principal. He coached the varsity boys basketball team for all 16 years, and intermittently coached JV girls volleyball, varsity baseball, and track.

When his job in the Willamette Valley was eliminated, Chad and his family decided to move to Central Oregon, even though neither he nor his wife had a job. They’d always loved the area and were tired of the rain, and just up and moved to Sisters in July of 2016. Chad immediately became involved with Outlaws basketball and was hired as the JV basketball coach at the high school in the fall of 2016.

Chad’s wife, Rory, was hired as head coach for the girls volleyball program. Seven months after their move Chad was hired by SPRD. He worked for SPRD for a few years, but when COVID hit he was laid off. He is currently working for Sisters Fence Company.

When Chad got hired at SPRD, the travel time at the high school level was too much, so he left his role as assistant high school basketball coach and moved down to the middle school, where he coached seventh and eighth grade boys basketball for three years.

During his time at the middle school, Chad worked closely with Rob Jensen, the head boys basketball coach at the high school. During his third year at the middle school, COVID hit, and Jensen asked Rush to help him out at the high school. Since winter sports at the high school were moved to the spring, there was no conflict with Chad’s duties at the middle school, so in addition to coaching middle school in the fall, he became the assistant varsity coach at the high school.

Chad shared with The Nugget what he has in mind for the boys basketball program:

“First and foremost, I want to establish a culture which is built on six pillars: passion, humility, unity, servanthood, respect, and integrity.” “The reason that is first and foremost is because I will be the fourth head coach in five years. So it’s important to build a platform and standard of consistency.”

This year, he plans on building upon the successes the team had last year near the end of the season.

“We won some games, we’d started building identity, and I want to expand on that and put my stamp on it a little bit,” he said.

Another focus for him will be on the youth program.

“I want to spend time developing coaches and players from the tiny tykes through middle school,” said Rush. “That’s where the future of the program lies.”

The transition from assistant coach to head coach should be easy. Rush is familiar with all the players, and has coached them in high school or middle school.


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