Jeff Rush enters his 12th season as head coach of the Penn State Hazleton Lions after spending three seasons as Associate Head Coach from 2007-2009. “Jeff’s dedication and basketball expertise has earned him great respect and admiration from many of his coaching colleagues”, according to Dr. Tom Caccese, former Penn State Athletic Director and longtime head coach of Penn State Hazleton basketball.
Rush’s involvement with the Nittany Lions since the 2007 season has helped the Lions:
*Capture the 2007 PSUAC Northern Championship while posting a 15-2 conference record and earning a trip to the PSUAC Final Four at the Bryce Jordan Center
*Capture the 2008 PSUAC Northern Championship while posting a 13-4 conference record.
*Capture the 2009 PSUAC Northern Championship while posting a 15-2 conference record and earning a trip the the PSUAC Conference Championship Game at the Bryce Jordan Center.
*Earn a bid to the 2009 USCAA National Tournament where the Lions lost the Vermont Tech in the National Quarter-Finals. The Lions finished the season ranked 8th in the Nation in 2009 (USCAA)
*Capture a share of the 2012 PSUAC Northern Division Title while posting a 11-5 conference record
*Three straight berths in the PSUAC postseason from 2018-2022 (No season in 2020-21)
Prior to joining Penn State in 2007, Rush was asked to Join legendary Pennsylvania high school basketball coach Bruce Leib’s staff in 2003. Leib’s basketball program at Hazleton accumulated 458 wins to just 129 losses while becoming a state powerhouse that had thousands of “cougar faithful” attend each and every game in the 80’s and 90’s. “When Coach Leib called me and asked me to be part of his staff, I was very honored. In terms of coaching, his 643 career wins speak for itself. But with Coach Leib, it was more than just winning basketball games. He ran a 1st class program. He preached fundamentals and his players always displayed great respect, class, and discipline on and off the court. As the Head Coach at Penn State Hazleton, those are the same characteristics I intend to bring to this campus everyday.”
In high school, Rush was a 3 year member of the varsity basketball team at Hazleton Area High School under Head Coach Bruce Leib. Rush helped the Cougars to a 73-13 record during that time. After Rush’s 1997 senior season, Coach Bruce Leib commented about Rush “pound for pound, inch for inch, the best point guard in the state of Pennsylvania this past year”. Rush was recruited by Dr. Caccese to play his college basketball at Penn State Hazleton. An avid Penn State fan helped make choosing Penn State an easy one. In two seasons as the starting point guard from 1997-1999, Rush scored over 800 points while guiding the Lions to the PSUAC playoffs.
Currently, Rush resides in Drums with his wife Amy and his two year old son Jayson.