In Doug Ruse's first season as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Sam Houston offense, the Bearkats ranked among the top 10 in FCS football in four major offensive statistics on the way to a Southland Conference title, an 11-4 record and an NCAA Division I Championship finals appearance.
The Kat offense ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division I FCS football in scoring (40.0 points per game), No. 7 in rushing offense (268.3) and No. 10 in both total offense (458.5) and passing efficiency (151.7).
Sam Houston led the Southland in rushing, scoring and pass efficiency and was number two in total offense.
The Bearkats became only the third FCS team in NCAA Division I history to score 600 or more points in 2012. The offense also produced school records with 6,878 total offense yards and 268.3 rushing yards per game.
Bearkat quarterback Brian Bell became Sam Houston's all-time leader in both passing and total offense. Five SHSU offensive players were named first team All-Southland and two more offensive starters were second team selections.
Running back Timothy Flanders was Southland Conference "Player of the Year" and both Flanders and offensive lineman Caleb Hopson received All-America honors.
Ruse joined Sam Houston's staff before 2012 spring practice, coming to Huntsville from Western Illinois where he served as offensive coordinator for two years. He previously coached at Arkansas State, Northwestern State and Missouri State.
During his stint with Western Illinois, Ruse worked closely with quarterback Matt Barr, who was the Walter Payton Award runner-up in 2010 after throwing for 3,410 yards and 27 touchdowns with 449 rushing yards.
With Ruse in charge of the offense, the Leathernecks amassed 5,944 offensive yards with 32.5 points per game and advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs in 2010.
The Leathernecks set unprecedented numbers in passing and total yards as the squad advanced to the NCAA Playoffs for the first time in seven years. Western's offense set new standards in passing yards (3,367/13th nationally) and total yards (5,713/3rd nationally) while also leading the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) in scoring offense (32.5 points/11th nationally) and passing efficiency (149.19/7th nationally).
Prior to joining the Leathernecks, Ruse coached eight years at Arkansas State. Ruse also served as the quarterbacks coach in addition to his coordinator duties. Ruse mentored several All-Sun Belt Conference quarterbacks including 2007 Davey O'Brien semifinalist Corey Leonard.
In 2009, the Redwolves scored 20 or more points six times, including a season-high 61 in the season-opening win against Mississippi Valley State. Five of the team's eight losses last year were by eight points or less, including losses at Iowa and Louisville.
During his tenure, Ruse saw program records fall including most passing yards and touchdowns in a game and total yards in one season (4,786), breaking a 57-year old record. The year prior, ASU set a single-game record for total yards and finished with the second-most yardage in a season to that point. In 2006, ASU ranked second in rushing offense among Sun Belt Conference leaders posting three 400-yard games of total offense and recording 300-plus yards eight times.
Ruse spent eight years at Northwestern State serving in the same capacity. During his tenure several Demons set single-game, season and career passing and scoring records.
A graduate of Northwest Missouri State (1986 and '88), Ruse joined the coaching staff after graduation. For two years he served as a graduate assistant, then joined the staff in a full-time capacity. In 1990, he was named offensive coordinator.
Ruse is married to the former Sandy Gallagher. The couple has a son, Adam, and two daughters, Megan and Whitney.