University of Evansville director of athletics Mark Spencer has announced that Matt Ruffing has been named the permanent head women’s basketball coach for the Purple Aces, effective immediately. Ruffing assumed head coaching duties on an interim basis on March 1.
“Since taking over the position on an interim basis, Matt has done an excellent job with our team and we look forward to the future with him at the helm,” Spencer said. “In just a short time, Matt has shown that he is ready for this opportunity with our team performing well on and off the court.”
Ruffing came to UE in 2011 and served as an assistant coach until 2016.
“I am very thankful for this opportunity to continue coaching at the University of Evansville and am excited to keep working towards our program goals,” Ruffing said. “The young ladies on our team are receiving a top notch education while representing UE on the basketball court and in the community. I look forward to helping them succeed academically and athletically.”
“Evansville and UE have become home for me over the past five and a half years. I want our players to have that same feeling during their time here,” Ruffing added.
Ruffing has led the Aces to a 5-6 mark through their first 11 games of the season. Included in that span is a 4-game win streak that included wins over Valparaiso, Murray State and Austin Peay. Going back to last year, Ruffing has directed the team to six wins in 13 contests.
In 2011, Ruffing came to Evansville after spending four seasons on the coaching staff at the University of Akron. Beginning as a graduate assistant in the 2007-08 season, while working on a masters in sports science, Ruffing was promoted to assistant coach for the past three seasons. He served as the scouting and equipment coordinator and assisted in recruiting, handled film exchange and assisted in pre and postseason conditioning.
Ruffing also worked closely with the post players and developed sophomore center Rachel Tecca into a first team Mid-American Conference selection in 2011, marking just the third Zip in program history to receive the honor. Tecca was also named the MAC Sixth Player of the Year under Ruffing’s guidance in 2010, while Ruffing coached an All-MAC Freshmen Team Member in each of his three years as assistant coach.
Prior to Akron, Ruffing served as a student assistant and head manager of the University of Dayton women’s basketball team. Ruffing helped coordinate the team’s tape exchange and assisted the coaching staff in many other roles, including the daily operations of practice.
“I also want to thank some very important people who made this opportunity possible. I need to thank Dr. Kazee, Mark Spencer and Sarah Solinsky for believing in my vision and supporting our staff since last March. I would also like to thank my wife, Erin, and both of our families for their tireless support of UE Women’s Basketball,” Ruffing said. “Lastly I would like to thank the players, coaches, alumni and their families. This is not possible without their hard work and commitment to the program.”