Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Rupp is the new Director of Operations

The Hawaii basketball team added some valuable experience to its staff with the hiring of Kerry Rupp as the Director of Basketball Operations.

At this time last year, Rupp was the head coach at Louisiana Tech. He led the Bulldogs to a fourth place finish in the Western Athletic Conference in 2010. Prior to Louisiana Tech, Rupp was a prominent assistant coach at Indiana, Utah and UAB.

Rupp fills the spot on Gib Arnold’s staff vacated by Scott Fisher, who was promoted to assistant coach. As the director of operations last season, Fisher’s duties included coordinating team travel, film breakdown and exchange, assisting in recruiting, academics and camps.

Here is the official announcement from the UH Media Relations office:

HONOLULU – University of Hawai’i men’s basketball coach Gib Arnold announced the hiring of Kerry Rupp as the team’s new Director of Basketball Operations. Rupp has nearly three decades of coaching experience, including his most recent position as head coach of Western Athletic Conference rival Louisiana Tech.

Prior to reviving Louisiana Tech, Rupp worked as a top assistant at some of the most successful basketball programs in the nation and developed a reputation as one of college basketball’s top recruiters.

“We are very fortunate to have Kerry join our staff,” Arnold said. “I’ve know Kerry for years and he’s not only a great coach but also a great person. He’s known for being an extremely hard worker and I know he’ll spent countless of hours helping with all aspects of our program. This is a great get for UH basketball and I couldn’t be more happy to work with someone of Kerry’s caliber.”

Rupp added: “It’s an incredible honor to be here at the University of Hawai’i. I’m thankful to Coach Arnold for giving me this unique opportunity. I can’t tell you how excited it is to be associated with such an up-and-coming program like Hawai’i with its combination of great players and staff.”

Rupp spent four seasons with Louisiana Tech (2007-11), elevating the program to its most successful stretch in nearly 25 years. He led the Bulldogs to nine-win improvements in back-to-back seasons. He was named the 2009-10 Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year and Louisiana Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to a 24-11 record, their best since 1985.

Amidst the 24-win season was a 10-game win streak, as the Bulldogs received votes in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1991. Rupp took Tech to postseason play for the first time in four years with an appearance in the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Tournament and recorded a win in the postseason for the first time in eight years.

During the 2008-09 season, Rupp led Tech to 15 wins, a nine-win improvement over the previous season. It was the fourth most improved team in Tech history and the most since 1994-95.

Rupp came to Tech after assistant coaching stints at Alabama-Birmingham, Indiana and Utah. Prior to the 2006-07 season at UAB, Rupp was associate head coach under Mike Davis at Indiana from 2004-2006, when the Hoosiers made an NIT berth in 2005.

From 2000-2004, Rupp coached under Rick Majerus for the University of Utah, where the Utes amassed a 70-26 overall record, went to three NCAA Tournaments, an NIT bid and went to the Mountain West Championship game twice. Rupp was also responsible for the Utes’ recruiting of Andrew Bogut, who would become the National Player of the Year, First Team All-American and the top pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Rupp also served as interim head coach for the part of the 2004 season at Utah as the Utes finished with a 10-4 record and its first-ever Mountain West Tournament Championship.

Rupp arrived at Utah after a successful 24-year high school coaching career, where he served as an assistant coach (1986-90) and then head coach (1990-2000) at Salt Lake City’s East High School. There led the Leopards to four region titles and two state title game appearances and was named the Utah High School Activities Association Coach of the Year in 1999.

A 1972 graduate of Cyprus High School, where he was an All-American in basketball and all-state performer in football and basketball, Rupp played two years at Utah State before transferring to Southern Utah. He was named the Thunderbirds’ team MVP and earned all-district and all-conference honors as a senior in 1977. Rupp earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Southern Utah in 1977.

He and his wife Lori have five daughters; Alie, Lindsey, Shelby, Billie and Randie.


  1. Welcome Aboard, Coach Rupp …
    Looks like Gib can recruit at All Levels — Future A.D.?

    Great to Have a Staff of Contacts, Great Knowledge, and History of Success …
    Both in Running a Program and in Recruiting ….

    This is starting to look like a (Good) Trend …
    Once You’ve done and tried All You’ve Wanted to in Playing and Coaching, Where Would You Choose to Finish Your Career ? Whether Football or Basketball (Volleyball, Baseball, Softball ?) To Raise Your Family or Retire and Build Up a Winning, Big Time Program in Paradise has got to be a Smart Choice …

    When you own and run a program, you just have to understand things at a whole ‘nother level, and for a (truly) young coach like Coach Gib, a Kerry Rupp or Benjy Taylor bring All Kinds of Knowledge, Insights and Contacts …

    IF they can also scratch up a big recruit every year or two, that would also make a Big Difference …

    Consider: How many of Us Really Understand that our jobs, careers and futures, even our families’ futures are affected by or even depend on what we choose to do Every Single Day ? AND Have the Added Pressure of Consistent & Repetitive (Not ‘Periodic’) Success hanging over our heads ?

  2. Aloha and welcome on board Coach Rupp. Can’t tell you how happy we are with the team and staff and we expect you will like it too. It is awesome to have you on the team Coach. Welcome!

  3. Congrats to the new addition, Dayton, is Coach Rupp related to Adolph Rupp, former hall of fame coach at Kentucky?

  4. Hawaii is honor to have this opportunity to welcome the Rupp family-
    now with the rest of the staff families & friends, a huge & powerful cheering section can be formed!!!

    with this staff plus the developing talent of the players, the potential of improvement will be significant, to say the least.
    Hawaiian knows how to appreciate winners; enjoys your earnest dedication to the challenges of the future.

    everything is happened for a reason. we are fortunate to gained your application for the opening.
    you will be invaluable to the TEAM: 3 outstanding challenges-
    1, the high level of academic achievement.
    2, the continuous recruitment of well rounded, classy athletes.
    3, the as always complete, upped-graded game schedule.

    coach Arnold, you are the catalyst of the TEAM; a magnate of talents of the Ohana. congratulations!

    great minds think aliked; may synergy perpetuates.

  5. coming from the east, i hope he has a lot of contacts and a bunch of players on his recruiting list…

  6. JUST Thinkin’ More on Commitment, Experience & Knowledge …

    It MUST Be Frustrating as All Hxxx to develop Working Game Plans & Strategies (they ALL worked Great when wining one or two years earlier); then have to suffer through a season where for whatever reason — injuries, grades, shortage of talent, team chemistry, etc. — the team can’t execute …

    Now you’ve chosen to come from-to the farthest flung teams in the Conference, to help The Team that was chosen behind you only a year ago, who now is Aiming @ 4th – 3rd – 2nd- even 1ST…That’s got to be exciting ! You probably know many or most of the WAC Coaches, teams, and players, their systems, strengths and weaknesses — i’d suggest to Coach Gib to have you first draft All the WAC Game Plans/Strategies …

    SOME OF US THINK we know what Commitment is — we ARE Strong supporters of our Beloved UH Basketball Program – yet we mostly vote with our ticket purchases and contributions, and show up as butts-in-seats … YOU move your home and (at least parts of your) family from one end of The WAC to the other — for now, the farthest flung Conference (’til the Big East invites UH, too? we’re Eastern Pacific after all)…

    Thank You for ALL THAT …

    Aloha, Mahalo, Welcome to Hawai’i… and Now This side of The Court …


  7. I hope he is allowed to go out and recruit. I think they should reshuffle roles and allow brendyn to do more of the director of ops duties and let rupp go out and recruit.

  8. Give Rupps props for coming all the way out to the islands, cost of living is high compared to Lousiana, providing for 5 kids, on the salary he’s going to be paid,wow, Gib needs to up the salaries for all his assistants, maybe take a lesser amount for his inorder to take care of his staff. Go buy some shorts and slippers Rupp, you’ll fit in , in no time.

  9. i see hawaii doing pretty good for seasons to come so if they don’t pay the assistants good money, taylor and rupp will leave to be head coach again some where else

  10. Eagle, you sound like Craig hoops on Warrior Sports Network blog with all your use of caps and jibberish.

  11. Great addition to the team. I’m sure down the road his going to help in recruiting some good talent.

  12. Kendall,

    Way to have faith in the local boy, Brandyn. First of all, this is not a knock to you, just tired of all this hype on these mainland coaches. Getting paid big money, by Hawaii standards, and not doing anything. Come on, really, everyone is so happy that they made the tournament last year, even Gib asked to restructure his contract (which means a raise). Are you serious? Was that post season tourney the NCAA, no. Was it the NIT, no. That tournament was an “everyone is a winner” tournament that they didn’t even win. The NCAA and NIT tournaments have the top 100 teams….what are the rest of the post season tournaments for. Come on, really…

    Believe me, I am Hawaii all the way. I know Brandyn personally, very well. He is more then qualified to recruit for this not top 100 team. Who do you think got all the recruiting done at BYUH? Who do you think was in charge of that whole Asia Trip they just went on? Who do you think got the Isreal and New Zealand players? I think it’s the guy who has a brother that is an Professional Basketball Player Agent (Jarinn). Come one Gib, give Brandyn the credit he deserves. Stop making it seem like you are doing everything…..You’re a good coach, but some of us, who have played at the college and professional level know better and can see right through what’s actually going on.

    So, don’t be so sure that the mainland guy can do a better job. This is going on way too much in Hawaii…….Local boys can do just as well. Well see how long some of these coaches actually stay committed like Brandyn…..Oh, one left already….

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