Former Capital High coach named interim boss for NNU men’s basketball

Paul Rush
Paul Rush

Paul Rush knew he wanted to be a college head coach someday, but he wasn’t expecting the opportunity to arrive so quickly.

Rush was named the interim men’s basketball coach at Northwest Nazarene on Monday after head coach Scott Flemming stepped down to become the senior director for basketball operations for NBA India.

“Coach Rush has been a vital leader and assistant to Coach Flemming for the past two seasons and will provide great continuity as the program undergoes this change,” NNU Athletic Director Kelli Lindley said in a press release. “We will spend the next few weeks going through a process of evaluation and expect to name a new head coach by Sept. 1.”

Rush’s name should be familiar to Treasure Valley high school boys basketball fans.

He coached for five seasons at Capital High, compiling an overall record of 64-52. The Eagles were 56-19 over his final three seasons and made three consecutive state tournament appearances.

In 2014, Capital became just the fourth team in the 56-year history of the 5A Southern Idaho Conference to go undefeated and win a state title.

Rush, who joined the Crusaders staff in 2015 as a top assistant and the director of recruiting, took Capital from a 3-17 record during the 2011-12 season to a 26-0 record and a 5A state championship in 2014.

Flemming took over the Crusaders program in May 2015 and in two seasons guided NNU to a 20-32 record. NNU finished tied for sixth in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings this past winter.

“We are very excited for Coach Flemming as he embarks on an incredible career opportunity, and we are grateful for his guidance and leadership over the past two seasons,” Lindley said. “Scott set a strong standard of excellence, both on the court and off, for his program, which exemplify the standards of NNU as a whole.”

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @byrachelroberts