Hayden leaves lasting impact on daughter/coach

Fargo - Delano volleyball coach Rebecca Rue admitted it was a little weird to grow up without her mom coming to her high school matches when she played at Ada-Borup in the mid-1990s.

Ada-Borup head volleyball coach Ruth Hayden
Ada-Borup head volleyball coach Ruth Hayden has been at the helm of the Cougars since 1996. She was previously the head coach at Climax-Fisher for 16 years. Nick Wagner / WagnerPhotos

Fargo - Delano volleyball coach Rebecca Rue admitted it was a little weird to grow up without her mom coming to her high school matches when she played at Ada-Borup in the mid-1990s.

She still wouldn't have it any other way.

"She's a role model to me, having the passion I do for the sport," Rue said. "I love how it all it came out in the end."

In the end, it has come out with Rue and current Ada-Borup coach Ruth Hayden heading to the Minnesota state volleyball tournament together as coaches for the third time.

Hayden had a very valid excuse for missing her daughter's matches. She was coaching at Climax-Fisher, where she coached for 16 years. And it wasn't like she missed all her matches. Hayden coached against Rue, which made for some awkward experiences at Parents' Night.


"The only time she would see me really play high school volleyball would be every other year on Parents' Night," Rue said. "A lot of times for Parents' Night, we'd schedule Climax-Fisher, and it was kind of crazy because here comes the coach of the other team for Parents' Night."

Eventually, Rue got her mom for every volleyball game. Hayden got a job at Ada when Rue was a senior at Ada-Borup and took over the volleyball team, where Hayden has been since 1996. Thursday will mark the third time the two will head to the state volleyball tournament after Ada-Borup and Delano both made state in 2008 and 2010.

And the whole family will be there.

"Volleyball has been a big part of her life since she's been able to toddle into gyms," Hayden said. "The state tournament is like a family affair. My sisters, my mom and dad, my brothers will be there and my son will come from Roseau (Minn.) with his family. It's kind of a little family gathering. It's an important part to our lives."

Rue points to her mother as her reason behind becoming a setter at Ada-Borup, where she went to state in 1994 and 1995. Rue played at Mayville State, where she was an

All-American and eventually ended up coaching at Delano, where she's in her seventh season as head coach. It all started on bus rides with mom.

"I remember I would go and ride the bus rides with her and be around all the girls when I was little," Rue said. "From the beginning of my life, I've been exposed to the sport, and I've loved it a lot. When she coached me my senior year, I loved every minute of it."

With Delano playing Grand Rapids at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center and Ada-Borup playing Fillmore Central at 1 p.m., there's a chance the two benches with Rue and Hayden will be bumping up against one another. There will be a lot of similarities on the two benches.


Like mother, like daughter.

"I know you can see the similarities by just pictures," Hayden said. "Sometimes we sit the same. Sometimes we do the same hand gestures. I'm sure we're thinking things the same too. It's just a rarity that this kind of thing is going to happen. It's tough, first of all, to get to the state tournament."

Playing at the same time at the state tournament has happened before for the mother-daughter duo. In 2010, mom was on one court playing for third place and daughter was on the other playing for fifth place. Dad and son, they were in the middle.

"My dad and my brother were sitting in the middle cheering for both games that were going on," Rue said with a laugh. "I think the fact that I was around it so much as a child from my mom, I have a passion for volleyball."

Hayden has certainly enjoyed the ride, starting with those bus rides with her team and her daughter.

"It's been awesome," Hayden said. "It's been a fun ride."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548

Murphy has covered sports in Chicago, Minnesota and North Dakota since 2009, working for The Forum since 2012. Contact: or 701-241-5548
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