Ruby Stauber’s journey to becoming one of the best 800m runners in Florida State history is anything but smooth. Four different colleges in five years and multiple surgeries isn’t how an athlete signs a letter of intent, but Stauber didn’t just prevail, she thrived.
The journey began in Plymouth, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, where Stauber grew up in a decorated sports house. His father, Robb Stauber, played college hockey for the University of Minnesota and later played for the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL. His mother, Alison Coffey, raced on the track at the University of South Florida under head coach Bob Braman, then transitioned to professional racing. His younger brother, Jaxson, just signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on March 24.
“There was never any pressure from them to be a great athlete. If anything, I was lucky to have them. They were able to share their failures and mistakes. It especially helped me in the recruiting process when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do,” Stauber said.
Stauber’s athletic journey didn’t begin on the track surface, however. It all started on an ice hockey rink. Then he moved on to the ground where Stauber played football for several years. Then Stauber tried cross-country in seventh grade because of his pattern.
“My mom was always my role model, and it was just something I wanted to do to be like her,” Stauber said.
Stauber’s focus shifted solely to the field and the track.
“I was pretty good at soccer,” Stauber said with a smirk. “I always thought I would play football in the fall and run track in the spring in college.”
A serious knee injury in his second year of high school derailed his plans to continue playing football. Stauber decided it was time to give up the sport and put all his eggs in one basket and focus on the track. Stauber became a decorated athlete at Minnesota State and eventually got the opportunity to run at LSU where she stormed the SEC. Stauber was named SEC Female Co-Away Rookie of the Year, but discovered she was running with a torn labrum in her hip at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which would require surgery.
Stauber’s journey then took a turn. She was transferred to Oregon where another hip operation derailed her stay in Eugene. Stauber was then transferred back to Vanderbilt, but another hip surgery and core muscle surgery kept her out of the 2019-20 season. After the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Stauber would go 1,317 days between meets, but Stauber’s faith in the sport and his faith in his ability to run again never wavered.
“My mum would ask me, ‘Are you sure you want to continue like this?’ I always wanted to continue because I had invested so much in the sport,” Stauber said. “I would have regretted giving up and walking away.”
Stauber isn’t one to let emotions or outside noise get the better of her. Stauber is not on social media and would describe herself as balanced.
“My parents are old school, so that’s where I got it from. I think some people would look at my life and call it boring,” Stauber said. 5,000 friends and worrying about what other people are doing. I think the longer you can stay in your lane the better. I think that’s part of what made me successful in taking care of me and my body.
Stauber returned to competition at Vanderbilt in the 2021 season and grew closer to her old self, but a coaching change would force another change her way. This time, the trip took her to Tallahassee and assistant coach Matt Kane.
“Florida State ticked all the boxes. I wanted to have a relationship with a coach beyond them just telling me to do a workout, and I found that here with Coach Braman and Coach Kane Coach Kane puts a lot of effort into developing us as people, he cares so much about us and makes sure we are a better person when we leave the state of Florida than when we come here.
After five long, long seasons, Stauber has found his form in Tallahassee. Stauber had a phenomenal indoor season for the Noles where she broke the school record in the 800m en route to a second-place finish at the ACC Indoor Championships. This outdoor season, Stauber currently has the ACC’s best time (2:03.54) in the 800m and is No. 5 on FSU’s all-time list in the event. With just over six weeks remaining in the season, Stauber still has a lot to accomplish wearing garnet and gold.
“The first step is to put on two really good races at the ACC championships. To have a chance to win is really exciting. I spent many years watching championships on TV crying because I wasn’t Now to be on that stage again and being able to compete is really exciting.