Kate Bruce begins her third season as head coach for the Cavaliers. In her second year, she guided Walsh to a 21-9 record overall and a 17-5 record in its first year of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC). The Cavs finished just one game away from being crowned co-champions of the conference. Walsh gained the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and advanced to the semifinals.
During her first season, Bruce lead the Cavaliers to a 15-13 record and 11-9 conference mark. In the final year in the Great Lake Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Cavaliers finshed third in the South Division and eight overall in the conference. She lead the team to their third straight conference tournament appearance. Bruce joined the Cavaliers after serving as the first assistant for the Ohio University women's basketball team the past three seasons.
Bruce coached under Walsh alum Bob Boldon ('97) since 2010 at both Youngstown State and Ohio University. On top of that, she played under former Cavalier Head Coach Karl Smesko, who guided Walsh to the NAIA Division II national championship in the 1997-98 season.
Coming full circle with strong Walsh connections, Bruce now takes the reins of her own program. She replaces former head coach Maria Marchesano who resigned to take the associate head coach position at Division I Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
"It is truly an exciting time for women's basketball at Walsh University," exclaimed Dale Howard, Vice President and Director of Athletics. "Coach Marchesano has laid an excellent foundation for new Head Coach Kate Bruce to build upon. Her connections to the Walsh University 'Coaching Tree' will serve her well as she acclimates to the campus and our excellent student athletes. I have every confidence that Kate will be a great mentor and teacher for the ladies on the team. Her obvious passion for the sport of basketball, as well as her keen understanding of the important role that athletics can play in the development of young people makes her the perfect fit at this time."
"I am excited and honored to be the head coach of the Walsh women's basketball team. I would like to thank President Jusseaume and Dale Howard for the opportunity to lead a great group of student-athletes," said Coach Bruce. "I plan to continue to build upon the culture and tradition that exists here at Walsh. I look forward to guiding these young women to another successful year academically and athletically."
Last season, she helped lead the Bobcats to the regular season MAC championship. The year prior, Ohio University was a participant in the NCAA tournament after it won the MAC regular season and tournament championships. The Bobcats also set a school-record that season with 27 wins.
While at Youngstown State, she helped guide the Penguins to a 23-win improvement in her first two seasons. During her final season there, the Penguins won the most games in a season since the 1997-1998 campaign. Youngstown State also earned a berth to the WNIT and advanced to the second round while Bruce was there.
As a player, Bruce earned many accolades at Florida Gulf Coast University playing for Coach Smesko. She was a WBCA Division II First Team All-American, South Region Player of the Year, and guided the team to an undefeated regular season. During the 2006-2007 season, she led the Eagles to the NCAA Division II national championship game.
Overall, Bruce led the Eagles to a combined 63-3 record during her two-year career. She was second in the nation in field goal percentage at a 62.8 percent success rate. Bruce led the team in free-throw percentage at 80.9 percent, rebounds with 5.5 per game, and points with 17.4 per game. Despite only playing two years at FGCU, she is the school's all-time leader in points, field goals made, free-throws made, free-throws attempted, and free-throw percentage.
She also played for Yavapai Community College where she earned her Associates degree. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from FGCU in 2007 and her Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from Ohio University in 2016.
After her collegiate career, Bruce played professionally in Holland for the Perik Jumpers.
Kate and her husband Jesse married in May of 2014 and welcomed a daughter, Brenna Lynn, earlier this year.