Willie Cruz, former men’s basketball speed and agility conditioning coach at Eastern Kentucky, was named assistant director of men’s basketball operations/strength training coach at Fordham in April of 2015.
“Willie will be a great addition to my staff at Fordham,” said Neubauer. “He has a strong background and a lot of experience in strength and condition coaching. Willie did a great job with the program at Eastern Kentucky and I’m confident that he will have similar results with the Fordham program.”
For the past two years, Cruz served on Neubauer’s staff at Eastern Kentucky as the men’s basketball speed and agility conditioning coach where he coordinated the creation of sport, position and energy specific drills to best prepare the athlete for game-like conditions. Cruz was also responsible for evaluating and correcting the nutritional habits of the student-athletes.
At Eastern Kentucky, Cruz was a member of the staff of the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference championship team as well as back-to-back 20-win teams. Last year, the Colonels won 21 games, their third straight 20-win season, while the 2013-14 squad won 24 times, took home the OVC title and made a trip to the NCAA Tournament where Eastern nearly upset second-seeded Kansas in the second round.
Cruz was a two-year player for the Eastern Kentucky men’s basketball program, but his collegiate career was cut short by injury prior to his junior season. He served as a men’s basketball assistant strength and conditioning coach his last two years as an undergraduate and, as a senior, he also served as a strength and conditioning intern for the Colonels, assisting with the football, soccer, volleyball, golf, softball and baseball teams.
A 2013 graduate of Eastern Kentucky, Cruz earned a degree in sports management with a concentration in strength and conditioning.
Cruz played at L’Anse Creuse High School, located just outside of Detroit, Mich., where he averaged 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists per game as a senior. He earned all-conference, all-metro and honorable mention all-state accolades.