Western Oregon's Greg Bruce Retires After 45 Seasons
Western Oregon women's basketball coach Greg Bruce to retire.
Western Oregon women's basketball coach Greg Bruce to retire.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

MONMOUTH, Ore. - After 22 seasons as a collegiate head women’s basketball coach, including the last seven at helm of the Western Oregon University women’s basketball program, Greg Bruce will retire at the end of his current contract, effective June 30.

"After much thought and discussion with my family, I have decided to retire from coaching,” Bruce said. “The game of basketball has been very good to me over the past 45 seasons.  I've been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many truly remarkable student-athletes."    

Bruce has spent 45 seasons at the high school, college and professional levels and amassed a record of 346-265 overall during his 22 years as a collegiate head coach.

During his career, Bruce was named conference coach of the year six times and earned three district coach of the year honors. In his seven seasons with the WOU program, he won 53 games with the Wolves.

After taking over a WOU program that was winless in the season prior to his arrival, Bruce continued to improve the Wolves, leading them to consecutive 11-win seasons from 2009-11, the school's first back-to-back double-digit win seasons since 2001-02 and 2002-03. In 2010-11, Bruce coached the team to nine league victories, the most for WOU at the NCAA Division II level.

“Greg (Bruce) has made many contributions to the sport of women’s basketball during his long coaching career,” WOU Athletics Director Jon Carey said. “I support and understand his decision and we are certainly appreciative of the improvements he has made to the WOU program over the years.”

His head coaching career also included stops at Portland State, Northern Colorado, Cal State Bakersfield and Fort Lewis. During his time at Portland State led the Vikings to a record of 199-89 over a 10-season stretch from 1986-1996, reaching the NCAA title game in 1995 and finishing a school-best 31-3 in 1992.

Bruce was inducted into the PSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 as the Vikings won five consecutive Pacific West Conference titles and posted 50 consecutive wins at home. In addition, he still holds the career records for wins (199) and winning percentage (.691) at PSU. 

His career included a year at Cal State Bakersfield (2000-01), where he led a first-year program to a 21-7 record and post-season play, the first time in NCAA history that a men’s or women’s team qualified for the tournament in its first year of existence.

He also coached for three seasons at Northern Colorado (1998-2000), leading the Bears to a 58-28 record and two NCAA tournament appearances as his 1997-98 squad finished with a mark of 21-8. 

Prior to WOU, Bruce was the head coach at Fort Lewis College (Colorado) in 2004-05 (15-13), and was an assistant at UC Davis for three seasons (2002-04).  Before beginning his legendary tenure at PSU, he was an assistant coach for two seasons at Notre Dame (1984-86), and was the girls and/or boys head coach at Thunderbird High School in Phoenix, Arizona from 1972-84.  His career record at the high school level is 140-43.