UDC Basketball: $17,000 per win for head coach Jeff Ruland

Photo courtesy of
‘Part of UDC’
courtesy of ‘spiggycat’

The UDC Firebirds finished their basketball season last month with a 11-17 final record, well out of contention for the D-II March Madness tournament, not that they were allowed to go even if they’d steamrolled the season.  In 2008, the NCAA suspended the school’s athletics programs from championship eligibility until 2013, citing the “single most egregious lack of institutional control ever seen by the committee.” They refer, of course, to UDC’s total inability to keep records about its student athletes, and allowing 248 student athletes to practice and compete while in violation of its rules.

Recently, as UDC University President Sessoms has come under scrutiny for records surrounding his travel for the institution, so too have other officials at the school.  Head Basketball Coach Jeff Ruland, a former NBA player with the Bullets, has had his $187,000 salary revealed. That makes Ruland one of the most well-paid coaches in Division II, earning more than triple the Division II average from 2005.

Ruland’s tenure with UDC has gone slightly better than his 2006-7 season with Iona College, in which his team won just 2 games, and when you think that he can’t host recruits, and has a diminished number of scholarships, 11-17 might well be a triumph, but do we need to pay a basketball coach $187,000?

There’s no question that Ruland has a hard job.  Recruiting students is difficult when your school is in rough straits both with the NCAA, its board, and its own student body.  But is $187k the right pay for a rebuilding basketball program in D-II?

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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8 thoughts on “UDC Basketball: $17,000 per win for head coach Jeff Ruland

  1. Mr. Bridge:
    I find this article very amateur and self-serving.
    What exactly IS your point, here?

    Jeff Ruland was brought in to rebuild this program. The previous administrators left the problems the basketball program have.
    President Sessoms wanted to fix that. That is why he brought in Jeff Ruland. he has a vision of stepping of the program to Division I status.

    Funny how you leave this point out.

    Ruland has publically stated this, so you haven’t done your research OR your homework, sir.

    Ruland is a name. As a player he brought Iona College into a prominent contender. He went back as a coach and took them to FOUR NCAA appearances despite the current administration there harrassing him personally and undercutting his program.
    Iona tried to smear him from getting a job after he was fired after a 2-28 season. Brought upon because of Iona firing his assistant coaches, one having a Jamacian girl friend. That coach sued the school and they settled.

    Go to Jeff Ruland’s website and listen to the WFAN-Mike Francesa interview he did.

    Yes, Ruland’s salary is more than the average Division II coach…but has has a proven record of building and winning.
    He has proven his reputation.

    Have YOU proven your reputation as a coulmnist? Not if you are going to be lazy and not do your research like the majority of main-stream media people, now.

    If your fact about Ruland’s salary is true, then as far as I am concerned…he is GROSSLY underpaid.

    I worked with Jeff at Iona…he was treated like crap by their president and bigoted Alumni.
    One member, a prominent money man for the school, talked to me at the after-game reception, came up to me, and this is the God’s honest truth…said right to my face…”I love our basketball program..but why do they have to have so many niggers on it?”

    This was in 2003. I was there, I saw and experienced it!

    You seem to have an issue with Sessoms. And you are trying to drag Ruland in in and I DEEPLY resent it.

    Kevin Van Meter
    Boxing Ring Announcer
    New York Daily News Golden Gloves
    Madison Square Garden, New York City
    Former Iona PA Announcer-1991-2005

  2. I played for Jeff Ruland for a year… He is a much better person and coach than most people know. I was immature at the time and left to be closer to home and it is something I always regretted because he deserved better from me…. with that said

    During my tenure playing for Coach Ruland he ran tight practices, obligated coaches to wait at our classroom to make sure we were attended school, spoke to us and gave great advice of personal matter, and treated us as men…A coach is always accountable to the success or failure of a team I believe his big heart has made him vulnerable to giving players an opportunity where others would not… taking risk sometimes does not work out…

    NBA experience at a very high Level, NCAA tourney wins, and NBA coaching experience… deserves the Money and in given time.. He will Win…

    FYI… Compare his salary to what Large Bank Officers were paid during record loss years… If your going to throw a stone… make sure you pick up enough to judge equally.

  3. I’m glad that he was a good coach for you, Solomon, but I can’t see paying a Division II basketball coach at a public university $170,000. Sorry.

  4. “I’m glad that he was a good coach for you, Solomon, but I can’t see paying a Division II basketball coach at a public university $170,000. Sorry.”

    But a lot of people do, Tom. It seems you are the minority, here.
    Solomon, you may respect his opinion, but his opinion is based on bias, and I stand 100% on that.
    Why don’t you air your gripes with Sessoms and just let Ruland do his job, okay, pook?

  5. Tom —
    Your post about Ruland lends people to believe you know very little about sports, or about Ruland.
    Ruland is a great guy and a great coach who brought instant credibility to a program that is undergoing a major restructuring job. Do you think that comes as a cheap price?
    The amount of positive publicity he has generated for the school, alone, probably justifies his salary.
    And, you can be sure that he is doing things the right way.
    Your school should be proud that he is its coach, not questioning whether he deserves that salary which, in this day and age of large coaching salaries, is probably a bargain.
    Anyone who knows Ruland, and I know him fairly well, understand what he brings to a basketball program.
    It is obvious that you don’t know him at all.
    You’re just looking at a number and raising an issue over that without any other pertinent information and background.
    An undeducated opinion is the worst thing a so-called journalist can have.