|Title:||Head Volleyball Coach|
Steve Rupe, entering his 14th season as Whitworth's head volleyball coach in the Fall of 2012, has served longer in this capacity than any coach in program history. Rupe has been named the Northwest Conference Coach of the Year three times (2001, 2002, 2010), AVCA Regional Coach of the Year once (2005) and has become the winningest coach in school history with a record of 203-137 (.597) over his first 13 seasons. Under his direction, the Pirates have won five NWC titles and have advanced to the NCAA Division III regional finals twice (2002, 2005).
Last season he guided the Pirates to a second straight Northwest Conference crown and the fifth overall under his direction.
In his first season (1999), Rupe led a young Pirate team to an 11-14 overall record and an 8-8 record in the NWC, good for a fifth-place finish. Both records were the team's best since 1992. In his second season the Pirates finished 17-8 overall and second in the Northwest Conference with a 12-4 mark. In 2001 Whitworth was 21-6 and earned a share of the NWC title. In 2002 the Pirates broke through with a 24-3 record, winning the NWC title and defeating the defending Division III champion in the NCAA tournament. In 2005 Whitworth went 22-4 and rolled to the NWC title with a 15-1 record. In 2010 he led Whitworth to its fourth NWC crown under his direction, and led the Pirates to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Along the way he surpassed Joanne Atwell-Scrivner as the winningest coach in program history.
Whitworth has hosted the NCAA Division III West Regional twice, in 2002 and 2005. Each time the Pirates have advanced to the regional title game. In addition, Whitworth volleyball has led NCAA Division III schools in attendance both of those years as well.
Rupe has coached three different players to AVCA First Team All-American honors: Julie Weatherred in 2001, Natalie Danielson in 2005 and Kaipo Rocha in 2011. Whitworth had only had one other First Team volleyball All-American prior to his arrival.
Rupe, a 1989 graduate of Whitworth, previously coached in the powerful Mead High School program. During his time there as an assistant coach (1996-98) the Panthers won a pair of Greater Spokane League titles and finished third in the State Tournament in 1996. Rupe teaches full time at Mountainside Middle School in addition to his coaching duties at Whitworth.