John Ruder

Length of time at Tabor: Since 2012


Athletic background

  • Thornapple Kellogg High School (Middleville Michigan)
  • Baseball – Four years
  • Football – Four years – 1973 MVP in Football, All Conference – All State wide receiver
  • Baseball scholarship to Olivet Nazarene University, Starting Shortstop, Hustle Award
  • USTA Tennis
  • 1999-2005 Ranked top 10 Men’s 35 Singles USTA Southwest Section
  • 2010-2011 Ranked top 50 Men’s 50 Singles USTA Texas Section



Coaching Experience

Head Coach of 5 varsity sports: Tennis, Basketball, Football, Baseball, Track

  • Track 4 years – Valley Union High School
    • 1A Arizona State Championship 1988
  • Football Defensive Coordinator – Valley Union High School
    • 7 Consecutive trips to the Arizona State Semi-finals 1987-1993
    • Arizona 1A South Conference Champions and State Runner-up 1987/1990
    • Arizona Coaches Association High School Assistant Coach of the Year 1992
  • Basketball – 20 years Valley Union High School
    • 10 Trips to the 1A Arizona State Tournament
    • Arizona 1A South Conference Champions – 1988, 1989, 2005
    • 2005 Arizona 1A South Coach of the Year
  • Tennis – 18 years Valley Union High School – 2 years Denison, Texas – 5 years Denton Ryan,
    • Arizona 1A/2A qualified at least one player to state tournament 1995-2005
    • Arizona 1A/2A Boy’s Doubles Team State Runner-up 1998
    • Arizona 1A/2A Girl’s Team State Runner-Up – 2004
    • Arizona 1A/2A Girl’s Singles State Champion — 2004
    • Arizona 1A/2A Girl’s Singles State Runner-up 2005
    • Texas 4-4A Girl’s Singles Regional Qualifier – 2012

Academic background

  • High School – Thornapple Kellogg High School in Middleville Michigan
  • College – Olivet Nazarene University, Kankakee, Illinois – BS in Physical Education
  • Graduate School  – Concordia University, Irvine, CA – MA Coaching and Athletic Administration
    Certification – United States Professional Tennis Association


Wife – Sandra Ruder

Daughter – Brooke Brantley – Oklahoma City

Son – Lance Ruder – Denison Texas

Dogs – Sam & Chancer

What is your coaching style

I am a teacher. The court is my classroom. Tennis is my textbook. Life is my subject. Much of my coaching is cooperative in nature. My goal is to provide the right balance between directing athletes and letting them direct themselves. As my players become more and more proficient with my system, I give them more opportunities to make decisions. I want my players to be able to make decisions and to think on the fly. I believe that an athlete’s brain is their biggest weapon. So much of my coaching involves training them to stay calm, think clearly, and be decisive.

What is special about athletics at Tabor

At Tabor College the priorities are right. Christ first, athlete second, and winning third. It is a place where athletes come to deepen their spiritual walk, get a high quality education, and compete to the best of their ability.


View the Men’s Tennis Page

View the Women’s Tennis Page