MOUNT CARMEL — First it was Tim Buss, then his wife Kelly Buss, then children Tyler Buss and Kyle Buss. All four have coached a sport at the high school level, with the latter two coaching high school basketball, softball and football respectively.
Now, another Buss is joining the coaching ranks, Mount Carmel legend Tyra Buss. And ironically enough, she’ll once again become an Ace.
Tyra Buss, who starred at Mount Carmel High School and later Indiana University, was welcomed in as an assistant women’s basketball coach on Head Women’s Basketball Coach Matt Ruffing’s staff at the University of Evansville on Tuesday.
”I feel like adding Tyra is going to make Evansville really attractive to recruits and continue what we’re looking to do here.” Ruffing spoke of Buss’ addition to the staff.She had most recently worked as an analyst for the Big Ten Network, covering and commentating women’s basketball for the network. But when the opportunity presented itself to get into coaching, Buss couldn’t refuse.
“Even when I started the Big 10 Network gig I didn’t know if I wanted to continue playing so that’s kind of why I took that time to decide,” Buss said. “Obviously I got that opportunity to do that, I couldn’t really pass it up, but in the back of my mind coaching was something I always wanted to do, it just depended on what level,”
“After coming out of college I really decided I wanted to start at the college level, kind of seeing what my coaching staff did at Indiana, then being a part of the Big 10 Network and getting to see all of the other coaches in the Big 10 and all of the playing and coaching styles, I think that’ll really help as well with my coaching career.”
As for why Evansville, Buss said she’s big on family.
Not only is Evansville just an hour drive from her hometown, but Buss was a big believer in Ruffing’s pitch of family and culture within the program.
“They’re big on family as well and I think that’s super, super important,” Buss spoke of Evansville’s pitch. “Coach Ruffing mentioned that before, that culture they have is that family and togetherness and that’s something that’s always been big for me. That’s why I chose to go to Indiana, because it was close to home, and that’s why I think being coach here at Evansville, just about 45 minutes down the road is huge. Obviously my family and friends were super excited. My mom and dad were probably the most excited about it.”
In her playing days Buss was as prolific of a scorer as there was. She holds Illinois girls basketball records for career points (4,897), career free throws made (1,185), highest career scoring average (38.0), career field goals made (1,644), single-season scoring (1,466) and single-season field goals (512). Her success earned her the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year Award, a Parade High School All-American and the National High School Coaches Association Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year in 2014.
College defenders never managed to slow down Buss either. She torched teams en route to 2,364 career points during her career from 2014 to 2018 as a four-year starter. She led her Hoosiers to a 2018 WNIT title and was named the Postseason WNIT Most Valuable Player.
Her incredible accomplishments in her storied basketball career provides common ground for her with her future players. Especially as an assistant, Buss will serve as the middle ground between them and Ruffing, helping them with both on and off the court matters.