On June 30, 2020, Scott Rueck celebrated his tenth anniversary as the head coach of the Oregon State women’s basketball program.
Since his inaugural season back in 2010, Rueck has created a powerhouse program seen on the national stage, heard by high school recruits across the nation, and greatly supported by the Corvallis, Oregon community.
Year after year, Rueck does it again.
Here are just some of his coaching career highlights:
- Led the Beavs to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2014 since 1996.
- In 2014, the Beavs led all fan attendance in the Pac-12 Conference (4,167)
- A Pac-12 regular season title in 2014-2015
- Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2014-2015
- Under Rueck’s guidance, Jamie Weisner was named the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year
- 2015-2016 Pac-12 regular season and Tournament champions
- The program’s first ever Final Four appearance in 2016
- 2017 Pac-12 Coach of the Year
- 2016 and 2017 Naismith Coach of the Year Finalist and 2018, 2020 Naismith Coach of the Year Semi-Finalist
The accolades are impressive indeed and where it comes from is Rueck’s brilliant basketball mind.
That is what drove Oregon State to the top of the recruiting process for current sophomore forward Taylor Jones.
“I can sit down for hours and just listen to the way he talks about basketball. It’s fascinating. He’s been around the game for so long.
Jones is the latest guest on the Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan:
“He can be tough. He can push you to another level that you didn’t know you had. That’s amazing.
Jones was a highly sought after high school recruit. The 6-foot-4 protege from Forney, Texas was rated a five-star recruit and the No. 15 signee in the nation according to Prospects Nation.
Forney, Texas is roughly an hour away from Baylor University, one of the best women’s college basketball programs in the country. However, in an Elite 8 matchup in 2016, it was the school facing Baylor that changed the course of Jones’ recruitment. A 60-57 Oregon State win over Baylor was the seal of approval.
“Okay, if I’m this excited about a team beating a school in Texas that I’m an hour away from, I think that’s where I need to go,” said Jones.
Fast forward to 2019, and Jones officially landed in Corvallis, Oregon as a freshman.
Part of what makes a good coach great is his or her ability to understand how individual players take coaching and criticism. This was very important for Jones in her freshman year and exactly what Rueck did. It would set the tone for the next three to four years.
“I remember in one of the meetings we had at the beginning of the season, he asked me, ‘Do you like to be pushed?’ And I was like, ‘Yes. Push me as hard as you want.’ He took that and he was able to push me and it worked this year.”
It worked indeed.
Jones rounded out an outstanding freshman season at Oregon State earning Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors, set the Oregon State freshman record for blocks (60), and now enters her sophomore season as the staple on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.