R.J. Rush accompanied head basketball coach Donnie Tyndall to Knoxville after spending two years on Tyndall's staff at Southern Miss. In his first year at Tennessee, Rush holds the title of Special Assistant to the Head Coach.
"R.J. is a bright young coach who has a great ability to positively impact our players and our program," Tyndall said. "As my graduate assistant for two years at Southern Miss, he proved himself invaluable in many different ways. He'll play a key role in our success here at Tennessee because of the relentless work ethic and ambition he possesses."
A native of Moon Township, Pa., Rush was a graduate assistant at Southern Miss during the 2013-14 campaign. He had previously served as the Eagles' video coordinator in 2012-13.
During Rush's two seasons on staff in Hattiesburg, Southern Miss posted a 56-17 overall record, including a 25-7 mark in Conference USA games. The 2013-14 squad captured a share of the regular-season Conference USA championship and won a school-record 29 games.
Rush was a forward on the men's basketball team at Slippery Rock University for three seasons from 2008-11. The Rock earned a bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament when Rush was a senior in 2011.
He played basketball at Pittsburgh-Titusville during the 2007-08 season after a standout career as a two-sport athlete at Moon Area High School in Robinson Township, Pa. Rush helped lead Moon to three consecutive WPIAL championship game appearances and a PIAA quarterfinal berth during his senior season.
Rush earned his Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Slippery Rock in 2011 and later received his Master's degree in Sports Management from Southern Miss in 2014.