UAA/Career Record: 279-166, 15 years as head coach; 28 overall at UAA
Education: B.S., Education, Univ. of Texas, 1988;
M.A., Educational Administration, SW Texas State, '90
After leading UAA to 13 winning seasons in the last 14 campaigns — including five NCAA Tourney appearances — Rusty Osborne has clearly established himself among the top coaches in both Division II basketball and school history.
Under Osborne’s leadership, UAA has gone 268-150 (.641) over the past 14 years, including victories over 12 Division I teams and 15 nationally ranked D-II teams.
During his head coaching tenure, Osborne’s squads have produced six All-Americans (including 2012 Div. II Bulletin National Player of the Year and GNAC POY Taylor Rohde), three CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-Americans, 10 All-West Region performers and 23 All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference first- or second-team honorees, while 21 Seawolves have moved on to play professionally.
In 2011-12, Osborne piloted the Seawolves to a 23-7 record — the second-best winning percentage (.767) in program history — and their second straight NCAA 2nd Round appearance. UAA is 6-3 in NCAA play in its last three appearances, with two of those losses coming to the eventual national runner-up. The 2016-17 campaign was Osborne’s fifth with 21 or more victories.
In 2007-08, Osborne earned the GNAC Coach of the Year award as UAA posted the best record in school history (29-6), won its first GNAC title, and advanced to the Div. II Final Four for the first time in 20 years. The Seawolves produced a pair of All-Americans -- including GNAC Player of the Year Luke Cooper -- and rose as high as No. 4 in the national poll, earning their first-ever No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed.
In seven of the last 11 campaigns, Osborne’s teams have finished in the top 10 of the NCAA Div. II national stats in either three-point or free-throw percentage, including 2008-09 when UAA was 2nd nationally from the charity stripe and 7th from long range. Osborne’s teams have also gained a reputation for defense, leading the GNAC in points allowed in seven of his 14 seasons.
From 1991-2004, Osborne spent 13 seasons as an assistant with the Seawolves, including 11 years as Charlie Bruns’ chief assistant. The Houston, Texas, native joined the UAA staff after serving under former Seawolf coach Harry Larrabee three seasons (1988-91) at Div. I Southwest Texas State.
Since coming to UAA, he has been involved in organizing Seawolf Outreach games in Barrow, Kotzebue, Kenai and Fort Richardson, and put on clinics across Alaska, including Point Hope, Barrow, Nuiqsut, Kodiak, Kenai, Kotzebue, Tyonek and the Mat-Su Valley.
The longest-tenured coach in the GNAC and the all-time leader among Alaska collegiate coaches, Osborne is currently the chair of the NCAA Div. II West Region regional advisory committee and a member of the D-II national committee, representing the West. He has also been the GNAC representative to the NABC National Congress for the last six years.
Before making the move to the collegiate ranks, Osborne worked for one year at the prep level as an assistant coach at Hyde Park Baptist in Austin, Texas, helping the team to a 36-8 finish and a state title.
He graduated from the University of Texas in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in education and earned a master’s degree in educational administration two years later from Southwest Texas.
Osborne and his wife Staci, an Anchorage native, are the parents of five children — sons Sagan, Austin and Kylan, and daughters J.J. and Kadyn.