Jeff Ruland Hired to Head UDCs Mens Basketball Program
Washington, DC – University of the District of Columbia System President Allen L. Sessoms, Ph. D. today announced Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Jeff Ruland has been hired to lead UDC’s men’s basketball program. In a press conference this afternoon, Dr. Sessoms praised the work of Athletic Director Patricia Thomas in finalizing a multi-year deal that brings Ruland to UDC for at least five years.
“Coach Ruland is the perfect choice at the perfect time,” said Dr. Sessoms. “As we continue to strengthen and raise the profile of this institution, athletics is a serious component, and adding quality leadership like that of Jeff Ruland creates a strong foundation well into the future.”
Coach Ruland brings more than 30 years worth of professional and collegiate playing and coaching experience to the game. He has played professionally for teams in Washington, Philadelphia and Detroit and spent nine years as the head coach of his Alma Mater, Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.
“It has always been a dream of mine to return to Washington, DC,” said Coach Ruland. “UDC presents a perfect opportunity to mesh my coaching philosophy with that of an institution undergoing a rebirth. The Firebird is definitely rising again!”
Jeff Ruland was drafted by the Golden State Warriors as an undergraduate in the second round (25th overall) of the 1980 NBA draft. He opted, however, to play one season of professional basketball in Barcelona, Spain, where he averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds per game. Ruland spent five pro seasons in Washington, DC and led the then Bullets in rebounding and field goal percentage each of those five years. He was selected to the 1984 and 1985 Eastern Conference All-Star teams and named to the 1982 NBA All-Rookie squad. His best season in Washington, and as a professional, came during the 1983-84 campaign when he averaged 22.2 points and 12.3 rebounds while shooting 57.9% from the floor. Coach Ruland also played professionally with the 76ers and with the Detroit Pistons before leaving the NBA in 1992 following an injury.
Coach Ruland returned to the 76ers the next
year as an assistant coach, but would soon leave to join his Alma
Mater, Iona College, as an assistant coach in 1995 and then head
coach from 1998-2007. In August of 2008, Ruland again
returned to the 76ers as an assistant coach, where he has served
until the present time.