|Louisiana College athletics photo|
Ending one of the most successful coaching careers in Louisiana College athletics, Gene Rushing announced Thursday, April 30, that he is retiring as head coach of the Wildcats basketball program.
Rushing, 67, has been served as head coach since 1986, when he succeeded legendary Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Billy Allgood. Rushing finished with a head coaching record of 335-431 (.437) in 29 seasons. Rushing came to Louisiana College as a player in the late 1960s, graduated from in 1970 and served as Allgood's assistant from 1974-86.
"It was just time," Rushing said of his decision. "There have been a lot of men who have been through our program who brought a lot of tradition and pride. We've graduated educators, superintendents, doctors, lawyers and dentists. I have a tremendous amount of pride in the men who played here."
Rushing leaves after one of his most successful seasons at Louisiana College. The 2014-15 Wildcats finished 14-10, including a perfect 10-0 at home. Six of those wins came on the new court at H.O. West Field House, a court Rushing was instrumental in designing.
"Gene Rushing has been the epitome of what Louisiana College represents," said president Rick Brewer. "In keeping with our vision of preparing graduates and transforming lives, Rushing has sent hundreds of young men into the professional world, and those men are now impacting others the same way he impacted them."
In his 29 years at the helm of Wildcats basketball, Rushing gained a reputation for teams that played hard, but more importantly to him, players who earned their degrees.
"Gene Rushing is an icon," said athletic director Dennis Dunn. "His commitment and loyalty to Louisiana College for the past 36 years is unmatched. He leaves a legacy of compassion for young people, passion for the game he loves, and a drive to succeed that will be forever remembered by former players, colleagues and this entire community."
Rushing was inducted into the Louisiana College Sports Hall of Fame in the fall of 2006. Rushing resides in Pineville, La., with his wife Cindy.