Rumur Rouille named 2021 Southern Arizona Student Athlete of the Year

(Andy Morales Photos)

The Tucson Citizen profiled the city’s finest high school student-athletes from 1957 through 2008 and the tradition of recognizing only the very best was continued on the pages of the TucsonCitizen.com website. We have continued this tradition at AllSportsTucson.com since 2014.

14 graduating seniors submitted an application and those were judged on academics, athletics, leadership, service to their school and on a one-page essay on who influenced them most in their lives. This year, the award came with a scholarship worth $750 from the Old Pueblo Abuelo Morales Foundation.

Ironwood Ridge volleyball standout Rumur Rouille was chosen in a final round between four applicants. A Long Island University commit, Rouille has a 4.2 GPA, was Student Body Historian for two years, NHS Historian, member of Rho Kappa, member of the Student Advisory Council for two years, earned an academic letter both senior and junior year, earned an athletic letter both senior and junior year, and was on the AZ All-Academic Girls Volleyball Team-1st Team for 5A 2019 and 2020. She was also an All-Southern Arizona All-Star.


The amount of time you spend at practice doesn’t matter, it’s the amount of effort that you put in during that time that makes the difference between being good and being great. And who wants to be just good when the idea of being great is at your fingertips? That mentality has been ingrained into my everyday life since I had David Rubio as my 15U club volleyball coach. I can genuinely say that everything I know has stemmed from his coaching.

Growth is painful. That feeling of discomfort is a sign of growth. Learning to be a read blocker and using a four step approach was a foreign language to me going into my freshman year of high school. Before, volleyball was just a sport I chose to stay active and to be involved in, and since you can’t teach height I decided to put it to good use. I was always positioned as a middle because I’m tall, but Coach Rubio saw a different potential in me. He trained me as a right side. I had no idea of the doors this decision would open.

The thing about Coach Rubio is that absolutely nothing is personal with him. With that in mind, practice became easier to endure. I had Coach Rubio for one year as my coach 4 years ago, and I will never stop expressing that that was the best experience of my life. I learned how to grow into my body. I was a 6’0”, 110 lb freshman who had no sense of how to get strong or use my height. I was playing as if I was the smallest kid on the court, shy and quiet. Coach Rubio didn’t care if we were shy, quiet, smart kids outside of volleyball. He cared if we were loud and contributing on the court. I became a new person. I was slowly starting to become a confident and loud player. I got better at my sport, but also at being a well-rounded individual. Here I am, 6’4”, extroverted, involved, and more confident than ever. While I only had Coach Rubio for one year, I owe the player I am today to him. I can’t wait for him to see how much I’ve grown (not just my height), in the future.

Coach Rubio has shaped the way I think. I hear his coaching when I play. “What’s an outside’s main purpose? To score.” “Make sure volleyball is at the top of your agenda.” “Any great player has to be able to serve and pass.” “The set needs to be high and inside.” These little messages are constantly in my ear. I clearly remember one conversation we had after practice. We had just scrimmaged an older team and I had not just played my best. I was in my head, and Coach Rubio told me that if I want to be great I have to be better. I have to play without fear and be confident even when I don’t feel even remotely assertive. I couldn’t be a liability. That conversation has had an immense effect on my mindset and was just the start of my new thought process.

Coach Rubio cares about each of his players. Again, nothing is personal. If we weren’t performing well or not putting effort into practice, he would send us home. There was an admirable zero tolerance for not putting effort in. “It takes a person 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything.” I think I’m able to quote Coach Rubio because of the effect his coaching had on me. He was a coach unlike any other, and for the first time I had a mentor in my life who saw something in me that no one else did. I think things started to click when I made my agenda clear. I made getting better at volleyball at the top of my agenda, and both Coach Rubio and I’s agendas became aligned.

So when I was asked who the most influential person in my life was, the answer was evident. No coach has had such an impact on my life. Not only is Coach Rubio a phenomenal volleyball coach and great mentor, but also an authentic and charismatic human. Thank you Coach Rubio for seeing the potential in me four years ago.

1957 D.L. Secrist Jr. Tucson High
1958 Donald Parsons Catalina
1959 Edward Brown Flowing Wells
1960 Terry DeJonghe Salpointe
1961 Robert Svob Catalina
1962 Ray Kosanke Tucson High
1963 Michael Aboud Tucson High
1964 Pat McAndrew Flowing Wells
1965 Charles Begley Sunnyside
1966 Eric Evett Catalina
1967 Ron Curry Tucson High
1968 Jeff Lovin Palo Verde
1969 Bruce Pawlowski Salpointe
1970 Dave Henry Sahuaro
1971 Tom Hagen Salpointe
1972 Bill Baechler Palo Verde
1973 Francisco Gomez Pueblo
1974 Richard Rucker Canyon del Oro
1975 Guillermo Robles Sunnyside
1976 Karen Christensen Rincon
1977 Michael Wing Rincon
1978 Craig Barker Amphitheater
1979 Ralph Gay Sunnyside
1980 Kristine Bush Sabino
1981 Lisa Kay Baker Sahuaro
1982 Vickie Patton Marana
1983 Martin Tetreault Sahuaro
1984 Molly Reiling Salpointe
1985 Timothy Roggeman Salpointe
1986 Jon Volpe Amphitheater
1987 Luis A. Padilla Pueblo
1988 Nicole Stern Catalina
1989 Robert Moen Flowing Wells
1990 Grace O’Neill Salpointe
1991 Angel Phillips Rincon
1992 Zenen Salazar Sunnyside
1993 Michelle Vielledent Sahuaro
1994 Julie Reitan Sahuaro and Brady Bennon Sabino
1995 Kelly Yablonski University High
1996 Joe Aguirre Palo Verde
1997 Andy Viner University High
1998 Scott Beck Canyon del Oro
1999 Glenn Schatz University High
2000 Nicole Voelkel University High
2001 Ai-ris Yonekura Catalina Foothills
2002 Philo Sanchez Sunnyside
2003 Tim Ashcraft Sahuaro
2004 Joe Kay Tucson High
2005 Tiffany Hosten Tucson High and Echo Fallon Catalina Foothills
2006 Michael Smith Sunnyside
2007 Tara Erdmann Flowing Wells
2008 James Eichberger Catalina

2009 Sun Park Cienega
2010 Christine Clark Tucson High
2011 LeeAndra Smith Palo Verde
2012 Rachel Ward (Pusch Ridge) and Robin Landrith (Ironwood Ridge)
2013 Mally McGarity (Marana) and Asha Esprit (University High)

2014 Amanda Nicholas Sahuaro
2015 Laura McGeary Flowing Wells and Courtney Brown Flowing Wells
2016 Cheyenne Pitts Mountain View
2017 Jacqueline Igulu Palo Verde
2018 Tyson Corner Marana
2019 Luc Rosenblatt Salpointe
2020 Shana Brown Ironwood Ridge
2021 Rumur Rouille Ironwood Ridge

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