FAYETTEVILLE – Anthony Ruta has been named director of men’s basketball operations, University of Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman announced.
Ruta worked the past four years on Nevada’s staff and has proven himself to be an asset in the successes Musselman’s teams have experienced. The duo’s partnership goes back to the 2013-14 season when Musselman was an assistant coach at Arizona State and Ruta served as a graduate assistant with the Sun Devils.
At Nevada, Ruta was initially brought on to be the director of basketball operations before being elevated to assistant coach his last two seasons with the Wolf Pack (2016-17 and 2017-18). In his role as an assistant coach, his duties included scouting opponents, recruiting student-athletes and scheduling opponents.
In Ruta’s four years at Nevada, the Wolf Pack won at least 24 games all four years (24, 28, 29 and 29), won three Mountain West regular-season titles, won one conference tournament championship, made three NCAA Tournament appearances – including a Sweet 16 berth, and won the 2016 CBI championship.
During his time as an assistant coach at Nevada, the Wolf Pack won 29 games each season – tying a school record and marking the programs’ best two-year run in school history. Nevada won the Mountain West championship twice and earned at-large berths to the NCAA Tournament each year. Last season, Nevada was 29-5, was ranked among the nation’s top 25 all season and finished 20th in the final AP poll/23rd in the USA Today coaches poll. The previous year, Nevada reached the Sweet 16 for the second time in school history, was 29-8 and was ranked all but two weeks throughout the season before finishing 20th in the coaches final poll/24th by AP.
In his first two seasons at Nevada, the Wolf Pack went 28-7 in 2015-16, won Mountain West regular-season and tournament titles and earned the program’s first NCAA berth in 10 years. In his first year at Nevada, Ruta helped the Pack go from nine wins prior to his arrival to 24 in year one and Nevada won the CBI Championship, which was the first postseason championship by a Mountain West or Nevada team.
Prior to coming to Nevada, Ruta was an assistant coach with Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League. He assisted in all areas with Mad Ants that included in-game coaching and practice preparation. His primary responsibilities were defensive game planning. Working with the guards and wings he coached NBA veteran Dahntay Jones and D-League All-Star game MVP Andre Emmett.
Ruta began his coaching career at his alma mater, Arizona State, where he was a graduate assistant for two seasons. The Sun Devils advanced to the postseason both years playing in the NCAA and NIT Championships.
While at ASU he assisted in scouting and game preparation. Additional duties included assisting in scheduling, team workouts primarily with the guards, team travel and summer camps. He also oversaw the team managers, organized the recruiting database and served as the academics and facilities liaison.
As an undergraduate student at ASU, Ruta was the head student manager for two seasons. He assisted with the daily operations of the Sun Devils basketball program which included workouts. Additionally, he worked summer camps and organized the team managers.
Ruta received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from ASU in 2012 and a Master of Education degree in higher education in 2014.
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