Coach Kate Rue Inducted Into Tacoma-Pierce County
Sports Hall of Fame
Congratulations, Coach Rue, on your induction into the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame August 23, 2021 at the Tribute to Champions. It was great to finally celebrate this much-deserved honor with you at the Tacoma Convention Center after a long COVID postponement. We’re so proud of you and all you do for our Tarrier athletes!
Bio from the Tribute to Champions Event Program:
Kate Rue grew up playing with the boys on the playgrounds of Tacoma and found her way on the college court faster than most.
“I had a friend who had a car and he would drive around and pick us all up and (we) had a key to the (University of Puget Sound) gym and we’d go there and just play for hours,” Rue recalled. “It was just basketball. We just played hours of basketball.”
Those hours on the court–inside or out, didn’t matter—led to a life in the sport, which saw Rue become a three-time All-Narrows League selection at Mount Tahoma and, when she graduated in 1981, go on to the University of Washington on a full-ride scholarship. Rue was among the first generation of full-ride women after Title IX mandated equity.
Rue was part of building a golden era of basketball for the Huskies, was twice named the team’s most improved player and captained a team that went 26-2, made the NCAA Tournament and was ranked as high as 11th nationally in the 1984-85 season. Rue went on to play professionally in Switzerland, Denmark and England, winning titles in the latter two. In 1991 her Danish professional team went 40-6 and won the league title on a Rue 3-pointer.
She returned to the states as an assistant coach at multiple colleges—Whitworth, Idaho, UPS—and remained an international coach and clinician while settling in to lead the girls team at Charles Wright Academy since 2011. She notes that, while Title IX is long since law, its guarantees are only as good as those willing to advocate for them. But mostly she appreciates all the game has given to her and enjoys providing those opportunities to the young women following in her footsteps.
“Basketball, for me, made the world smaller,” Rue said. “The people in basketball have taken me everywhere and yet it is a small community. But now I have a collection of great people who will never leave my life. The most awesome thing for me is when my former players come back to our program and hang out. I just feel blessed that I could stay with basketball all these years.”
—Tacoma Athletics Commission, Hall of Fame Athlete Bios written by Gary Brooks, Nick Dawson, Doug Drowley, Craig Hill, Arnold Lytle, Todd Milles, Shawn O’Neal, Rob Rang, Bill Schey, Tyler Scott and Gail Wood.