By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University has hired Katie Gruys as an assistant women's basketball coach, as announced today by Head Women's Basketball Coach Peg Swadener. Gruys will begin working for the Bearcats immediately.
Gruys spent the past year as a graduate assistant at Clemson University (S.C.), where she was in charge of many administrative duties for the women's basketball team. She helped with scheduling and team travel, as well as community service projects and recruiting weekends.
Prior to attending Clemson as a graduate student, Gruys earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration for the University of Oregon in 2016. She competed in women's basketball as well as track and field during all four years at U of O. She helped Oregon reach the semifinals of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) in 2015-16.
"Katie is a great fit for us with her drive and passion for making those around her better," Swadener said. "Her energy and enthusiasm make her one of the up-and-coming coaches in the business, and her experience with some of the top athletic departments will help us in all areas. I am very excited to have Katie join me and the rest of the staff as we work to take this program to the next level."
While at Oregon, Gruys also was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She helped organize various volunteer and community service opportunities. She worked with 20 other student-athletes to build a sport court in Nicaragua in just one week.
During her year at Clemson, she created a youth organization called Kid Grit Life to teach youngsters about developing grit through sports. Kid Grit Life features 1-on-1 private training in basketball, swimming, track, hiking and triathlon.
In addition, Gruys served as president of the University of Oregon crew in the Love Your Melon Foundation from 2014-16. Love Your Melon raised funds to support children and their families who are battling cancer. She also organized opportunities for student-athletes at U of O to visit Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
"My coaching dreams started in Oregon and now they're continuing in Oregon," Kruys said. "I couldn't be more excited and honored to become the newest member of the Bearcat family. I cannot wait to get on campus and start working with the staff and the team at a first-class institution."