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COACH WITH DEEP ROOTS IN UTAH HOOPS PART OF OREGON STATE BASKETBALL’S CINDERELLA STORY

Mar 31, 2021

COACH WITH DEEP ROOTS IN UTAH HOOPS PART OF OREGON STATE BASKETBALL’S CINDERELLA STORY

 

(INDIANAPOLIS, IND.) -- Though BYU and Utah State both faced first round exits in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the state of Utah was well represented in the Elite Eight thanks to Oregon State Basketball Associate Head Coach Kerry Rupp.

 

Rupp’s roots in Utah hoops began in Magna, UT as a Cyprus High School graduate and passionate member of their basketball team. Kerry was the son of Glen Rupp, a longtime head football coach and tennis coach for the Pirates who was later inducted into the school’s Legend’s Hall of Fame. Rupp’s brother Laurie, a year Kerry’s senior, played on the basketball team at Cyprus as well.

 

Rupp started his collegiate basketball career in Logan as an Aggie before transferring to Southern Utah, where he would lead the Thunderbirds in scoring and rebounding. Rupp also led the team to SUU’s first 20-win season and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament.

 

Rupp’s coaching career began in 1978 as the Head Basketball Coach at Uintah High School in Salt Lake City, UT. He went on to head up the boys’ team at Murray High School in Murray, UT, and later coached basketball at East High School in Salt Lake City, UT, eventually serving as the Leopards’ Athletics Director for eight years until 2000.

 

While at East High School, Kerry Rupp developed a friendship with the late University of Utah Head Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Majerus, who hired Kerry for his first collegiate coaching job as an Assistant Coach and recruiting coordinator. Rupp would go on to serve as interim Head Coach for the Utes when Rick’s health declined.

 

Rupp’s basketball journey continued at Indiana University as an Associate Head Coach. He later made stops at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Louisiana Tech - where he served as Head Coach from 2007-2011, and the University of Hawaii. He was hired at the University of Montana by then-Head Coach Wayne Tinkle in 2012 and joined Tinkle in Corvallis, OR when he took over the Oregon State basketball program in 2014.

 

Rupp’s ties to Utah also include a close bond with two-time NBA MVP and Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone, for whom Rupp served as the Executive Director of the Karl Malone Foundation for Kids and Director of Malone’s basketball camps. Rupp’s wife, Lori, worked at the University of Utah for 23 years as a Spirit Coordinator and Head Coach of the Dance team and the Cheer team. She also taught at Cyprus High School for 30 years.

 

Coach Kerry Rupp joined head coach Wayne Tinkle and the twelfth-seeded Oregon State Beavers as they headed to the Elite Eight in this year’s NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball Tournament. The team’s magical run ended Monday night against the second seed University of Houston, where the Beavers fell just short, 67-61, after a second half rally.

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