University of Miami head men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga announced the hiring of Chris Alvarez as the director of player development.
A native Miamian, Alvarez previously worked at The U from 2011-13 as a graduate assistant. He is a former Division I player at both Dayton and Northeastern.
“I am pleased to have Chris back at Miami,” Larrañaga said. “He showed a great basketball acumen and strong work ethic during his two years as a GA. I am confident he will aid our players both on and off the court in his new role.”
Alvarez possesses experience working with basketball players at numerous levels. From September 2013 to August 2018, he served as the personal trainer for Luol Deng, a two-time NBA All-Star. Alvarez and Deng, as well as former Miami forward Deng Gak, each graduated from Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J.
Prior to that, Alvarez worked as a graduate assistant at Miami for two seasons, coinciding with Larrañaga’s opening years at the helm of the program. The Hurricanes won 20-plus games and reached the postseason in both 2011-12 and 2012-13.
During his second campaign with Miami, the team posted its then-greatest year ever, tallying a 29-7 (15-3 ACC) record and finishing the season top-10 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll. The Hurricanes swept the conference titles and reached the Sweet 16.
“First off, I want to express my gratitude to Jim Larrañaga for bringing me back to the University of Miami,” Alvarez said. “I have extremely fond memories from my two seasons as a graduate assistant at The U, during which I learned so much from Coach L, and it is an honor to now be back as part of the staff. I look forward to helping the Hurricanes in any way I can moving forward.”
Alvarez’s first job out of college was as the head basketball coach at St. Brendan Catholic Elementary, where he worked from August 2009 to February 2010.
As a collegian, Alvarez appeared in 60 games over two years at Dayton, 2004-06, and started 29 of them. He then transferred to Northeastern, where he sat out for one season and then appeared in 59 contests from 2007-09 and made 17 starts. The 6-foot-8 forward, who served as a team captain his final year, totaled 377 points and 470 rebounds in his four seasons.
Alvarez, who owns several years of experience in the corporate world working for companies such as Northwestern Mutual and HUB International, graduated from Northeastern in April 2009 with a degree in criminal justice.