Angelo State men’s basketball head coach Vinay Patel has announced the promotion of Mark Rutledge to Associate Head Coach, effective immediately.
“I am thrilled to be able to announce Mark Rutledge as our Associate Head Men’s Basketball Coach,” said Patel. “Since he arrived on campus, he has been the perfect fit for our program. He has worked tirelessly to help ensure our athletes have the best experience possible at Angelo State, and we are pleased to reward him for everything he has done.”
“Mark is an exceptional coach, has built tremendous relationships with our student-athletes, and most importantly, is a high-character person,” said Patel. “It is no secret to anyone that comes in contact with him that he is a highly competitive person and has positively impacted our program.”
This past season, the Rams finished 26-7 and made it to the second round of the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament. The 26 wins were the second-most in program history and the most by a first-year head coach. The Rams also finished a perfect 13-0 inside the Junell Center – Stephens Area and finished first in the Lone Star Conference in home attendance.
“Mark, Connor Moore and Grant Mikita have done an unbelievable job this past year. I am excited that all three will return this upcoming year and understand the importance of consistency in the coaching staff,” said Patel. “These guys are tremendous leaders of young people, and I am excited to enter another year with them beside me. They understand the expectations that are set in our program and have bought into our vision from day one.”
Rutledge came to Angelo State following a successful four-year stint on the bench at Henderson State, a Division II competing in the Great American Conference. He served his last two years for the Reddies as Associate Head Coach under Jimmy Elgas, and the Reddies won the 2020 GAC Tournament, the program’s first conference title since 2003, clinching a berth to the NCAA Central Regional.
Most importantly, the Reddies had a 100 percent graduation rate in the classroom during Rutledge’s tenure.
“Mark is a tremendously talented coach and unrelenting worker who has earned everything he has accomplished,” said Elgas. “He has won everywhere he has been, and I am very happy for Mark and the Angelo State program.”
“Words can’t describe how grateful I am to share this moment with Coach Patel, Coach Moore, and Coach Mikita,” said Rutledge. “Coach Patel and the Angelo State administration welcomed my family and me with open arms from day one.”
“This staff and university have been the perfect fit for me!” exclaimed Rutledge. “Our vision of success for the student-athletes and the programs they represent align! Thank you to our Athletic Director, James Reid, and our President, Ronnie Hawkins Jr., for the trust and the tutelage.”
“I appreciate the opportunity more than you know, and I hope to continue to grow within the program for many years to come,” said Rutledge. “Lastly, thank you, Coach Patel, for putting me in a position to be successful and grow daily. I’ll never take this opportunity for granted! GO RAMS!”
What They’re Saying About Mark Rutledge
Kevin O’Connor – Head Coach, Cameron
“Angelo State has one of the best assistant coaches in the country in Mark Rutledge. Mark’s promotion to associate head coach is not surprising, and he will continue to do great things for their program. I’ve known Mark since we moved to Oklahoma in 2017; his work ethic became apparent when he recruited our student-athletes at Murray State. Mark has an incredibly bright future in this business, and this promotion could not be more earned.”
Kyle Tolin – Head Coach, UT Permian Basin
“Mark has done a great job for Angelo State University. I have always admired him and his work at Henderson State with Coach Elgas. This is a well-deserved promotion, and I know he will continue to do great things at Angelo State.”
Zane Gibson – Head Coach, UAFS
“I was so excited to hear Mark was named associate head coach. He is a day-in-day-out grinder who loves to compete. He is a great person who loves his student-athletes and wants nothing more than to see them reach every goal they have. Mark has authentic relationships and will make an outstanding Associate Head Coach for Angelo State and, in the future, a great head coach. To sum it up, Mark is just a winner both personally and professionally, and I am fired up to watch him ascend the coaching ladder.”
Bubba Meyer – Head Coach, St. Mary’s
“Mark is very well respected throughout the league for being loyal, a tireless recruiter, and an incredible relationship builder! He works hard behind the scenes preparing the team for upcoming opponents, and was a big piece to the success of last year’s ASU team. This is a well-deserved promotion.”
Rodney “Mac” McConnell – Head Coach, Texas A&M International
“First and foremost, Mark Rutledge is an excellent role model for young men. He is a family man, former collegiate player, and scholar who played at a high level and transitioned into one of the best upcoming young coaches in our profession. Mark is an absolute professional and an outstanding young basketball coach who is a relentless recruiter and an extraordinary X’s and O’s coach. Coach Patel has made an excellent decision to promote Coach Rutledge, and I know he will continue to be great for Angelo State.”