Associated with George Fox University tennis as both a player and a coach since its inception in 1996, Rick Cruz enters his 18th season as the women's tennis coach at his alma mater in 2017-18.
The 2016-17 season marked the third straight winning season for the women's tennis program. The season was historic for the Bruins, as they earned their first Northwest Conference Tournament appearance since 2005. Sarah Tuemmler earned her second straight All-NWC first team selection as a Bruin, recording 13 wins at the No. 1 spot in singles.
The Bruins enjoyed their second straight winning season in 2015-16, as Cruz directed the Bruins to a 12-9 overall record. The Bruins managed to finish 7-5 in the Northwest Conference, but fell just shy of making the tournament. Sarah Tuemmler was named All-NWC first team for her outstanding performance in her junior season.
The Bruins finished the 2014-15 season with an overall record of 10-9 and a 6-6 record in the Northwest Conference. Sarah Tuemmler was the only Bruin selected on the All-NWC Second Team list.
The 2013-14 season saw the Bruins battle with great effort all year, as they finished with an overall record of 7-12 and 3-9 in the Northwest Conference. Alyssa Emoto had a fantastic season and earned herself a spot on the All-NWC Second Team list.
The Bruins finished the 2012-13 season at 7-11 overall and 4-8 in the conference, finishing seventh in the league. They posted sweeps during the season over the College of Idaho and over league foes Pacific University and Willamette University. Molly Beaumont became the Bruins' first four-time All-Conference player as she earned All-NWC Second Team honors.
Cruz comes from an athletic family. His identical (mirror) twin brother, Rob, has been his assistant coach for 13 years 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, and is now a basketball and tennis coach at Summit High School in Bend, Ore.
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.
A 1994 graduate of Hillsboro (Ore.) High School, Cruz still resides in Beaverton and is a co-owner with his brother Rob of four Cold Stone Creamery stores throughout the metro-area. Cruz, his brother and one of his former players will open a Berry Bowl later on in the season.
1st win - 9-0 vs. Evergreen State, (3/10/2001)
50th win - 7-2 vs. Hamline at Orlando, Fla., (3/22/2012)
100th win - 8-1 at Willamette (4/8/2017)