Hall of Fame

Kaego Ogbechie Rust

Graduation Year


Induction Year


Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

Remains the only student-athlete in program history to earn 2-time Ivy League Player of the Year (2004, 2002) and All-American (2005 honorable mention) … Led Harvard to the program’s first Ivy League Championship (2004) … 3-time All-Ivy League (2004 first team, 2002 first team, 2001 honorable mention) … 2-time AVCA All-Region (2004, 2002) … Ivy League Rookie of the Year (2001) … … Ranks first in career kills per set (3.95), second in solo blocks (109), fourth in kills (1,154), fifth in total blocks (33), and seventh in block assists (221) … 4-year Division 1 Varsity letterwinner … Team captain (2004).

Hall of Fame

Remembering Harvard Athletics

I am tremendously honored to be inducted to the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame. Congratulations to all of my fellow inductees — I admire and respect each of you, both back then and now. Thank you to my mother and father — Henrietta Omo Ogbechie and Dr. Lawrence Odiaka Ogbechie — for your unwavering lesson that “anything worth doing is worth doing well.” To my three brothers, thank you for your tireless support. And to my husband, Ash, I am overjoyed that I get to walk down memory lane with you while continuing to make our own memories. Thank you to my teammates and assistant coaches who were beacons of light during the hardest days on and off the court. And of course, thank you Coach Jen Weiss, you are truly the beating heart of Harvard Volleyball and have been for three decades.

Some of my fondest memories of Harvard Volleyball and Coach Weiss were also the most physically daunting. At the start of my Freshman year, we arrived on campus weeks early ahead of the student body, to prepare for the season in the blistering heat. I had never been faced with double-day practices in the past and I had never experienced true exhaustion like that before.

I remember Coach looking at our depleted faces, taking a breath, and calmly stating “We’re a family…we play up and we play together.” It was such a simple thought that resonated throughout my entire volleyball career: we could endure pain together and make each other better. This sentiment echoed within me every single game, every single practice, and during the journey we took to win Harvard’s first ever Ivy League Championship in volleyball my senior year. Coach had distilled decades of her experience into just a few words, as she often did.

Coming from a family with three brothers, I learned in all the best ways how to stay resilient, remain nimble, and, of course, consistently fight back. Yet, my time with Harvard Volleyball was completely new and equally important — I found I could learn from and lean on so many exceptional women — a group that was frequently held together by Coach's words.

The mantra of togetherness that Harvard Volleyball installed in me has had such a vast influence on my life, from my greatest successes to my deepest challenges. I learned to withstand loss, win graciously, and demonstrate resolve to protect the things that I love. I know I am far from alone when I highlight the impression this time had on me, and I will always be grateful to Harvard Volleyball as the second “family” that made me the woman I am today.