Associated with George Fox University tennis as both a player and a coach since its inception in 1996, Rick Cruz enters his 11th season as the women’s tennis coach at his alma mater in 2010-11
Cruz added the women’s program to the duties he already had as the men’s tennis coach in time for the 2001 season, and has directed the Bruins to a 42-139 (.232) record in 10 years. The Bruins’ best season came in 2004 when a senior-laden team went 9-12, finished fifth in the Northwest Conference with a 7-9 league mark, then upset Pacific Lutheran in the first round of the NWC Tournament and wound up fourth, the Bruins' best showing ever in the tournament.
While serving as an assistant coach with the George Fox men’s program, he stepped into the breech left in the middle of the 1999 season when former coach Josh Schweitz suddenly resigned. Cruz’s men’s teams posted a 37-137 (.213) record in 10 1/2 years, with their best season in 2000 when the Bruins went 8-12 overall and 6-6 in the conference to finish fifth, then went 1-2 in the NWC Tournament to come in sixth.
Cruz relinquished the men’s program to Neal Ninteman for the 2009-10 season in order to devote more time to his outside business pursuits, but retained the head coaching position with the women’s program.
As a player for the Bruins, Cruz rotated among the No. 1, 2, and 3 singles positions during the first three years of the program from 1996-98. He graduated from George Fox with a B.A. in business in 1998.
Cruz comes from an athletic family. His identical (mirror) twin brother, Rob, is his assistant coach after also playing tennis at George Fox (1996-98). His younger brother Ryan played basketball and tennis for three years at George Fox (1998-2000) before transferring to Linfield College for his senior season.
A 1994 graduate of Hillsboro (Ore.) High School, Cruz still resides in Hillsboro and is a co-owner with his brother Rob of two Cold Stone Creamery stores in the Beaverton-Hillsboro area.