Former Golden Eagle guard Rick Cabrera returns for his fourth season as a coach at his alma mater, and enters the year with a new title after being named associate head coach by head coach Steve Payne. He served as an assistant coach the past three seasons.
Cabrera came to Tech after spending 2008-2012 at Chattanooga under head coach John Shulman. Shulman was a former assistant coach at Tennessee Tech under Jeff Lebo.
While at Chattanooga, he helped coach the Mocs to two Southern Conference North Division titles in 2008-09 and 2010-11. The 2008-09 team would go on to win the SoCon Tournament and gained a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Known for his strong reputation as a recruiter and evaluator of talent, Cabrera served as head coach at Lackawanna for four years prior to his stint at UTC. He accumulated a record of 100-28, winning two region titles. His 2007-08 squad went 22-9 and lost in the region semifinals. Cabrera was named region Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and coached three NJCAA All-Americans and eight All-Region players.
Cabrera also logged two years as an assistant coach at Keystone College in 2003 and 2004, and spent the 2001-02 season as an assistant for Miami (Fla.) Killian High School. Cabrera was also head coach and athletics director for one season (1998-99) at Volunteer Christian Academy in Sparta, Tenn.
As a collegiate player, Cabrera transferred to Tennessee Tech after two seasons at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Ind., where he played with future NBA players Shawn Marion (Miami Heat) and Tyrone Nesby (Washington Wizards). He played two seasons in Cookeville under head coach Frank Harrell, who currently serves as TTU’s associate athletic director. Following his senior season, Cabrera was named the Golden Eagles MVP and earned the Sam Harley Lynn Award.
After finishing his Multidisciplinary Studies degree in 1999, Cabrera served as a graduate assistant at Tennessee Tech following his playing career as a Golden Eagle for then head coach Jeff Lebo. Cabrera worked one season on Lebo’s staff and earned his master’s in Instructional Leadership from TTU in 2001.
His father, Hugo Cabrera, Sr., was voted as the Dominican Republic’s “Player of the Century” and is in that country’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Rick has also played professional basketball in the Dominican Republic.
Cabrera is married to the former Danielle Olker of Queens, N.Y. The couple has a daughter, Mikayla, and two sons, Jaden and Braxton.