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Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
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ExcitedOwl18 Offline
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Post: #1
Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
(This post was last modified: 06-09-2021 01:54 PM by ExcitedOwl18.)
06-09-2021 01:53 PM
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esposito Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
We pass on a guy in Berkman for "no coaching experience" for...
06-09-2021 01:57 PM
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Fort Bend Owl Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
Great news.

And a scoop here you saw on the Parliament first (if you know your users).
06-09-2021 01:57 PM
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Rice93 Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
(06-09-2021 01:57 PM)Fort Bend Owl Wrote:  Great news.

And a scoop here you saw on the Parliament first (if you know your users).

Great hire! I'm so excited for this.
06-09-2021 01:58 PM
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mebehutchi Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
I'm delighted. He's motivated, has a plan, in is as true blue Rice as it gets.
06-09-2021 02:00 PM
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Musicowl1965 Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
Not to brag..but....
06-09-2021 02:05 PM
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Wayne’sWorld Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
So another 3 years until a shot at Berkman?
06-09-2021 02:07 PM
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RiceFootball2K5 Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
I’m good with giving this a shot. Better plan than some alternatives.
06-09-2021 02:09 PM
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Fort Bend Owl Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
So again let me inform the trolls and unknowledgeable folks a bit about Cheito (Jose Cruz Jr.).

Again, he was the guy that got Rice baseball going under Wayne Graham. He was absolutely our first major recruit under Graham. In 1992, he was a star at Bellaire HS, which was the high school program in Texas at that point. He was potentially a first round draft pick out of high school but he really wanted to play for Coach Graham so his family told MLB teams he wasn't going to sign with them. As I remember it, he had an older brother who played briefly for Graham at San Jac. (I may have that part wrong).

Even though he and his dad told teams not to draft him, the Braves still drafted him in the 15th round (and offered him way more than 15th round draft money to sign) but he honored his commitment to Rice. In fact, I suspect he turned down more money to play for Rice than just about any other Rice recruit (Anthony Rendon is another in the same category though). By his junior year, he had Rice in their first regional under Graham, and the Owls were able to go after much bigger recruits (such as Berkman and Matt Anderson, an eventual #1 overall pick who were both two years behind Cruz).

He did sign with Seattle after being picked #3 overall in 1995 (still Rice's highest draft pick ever for a hitter). His younger brother Enrique later signed with Rice and helped lead the Owls to the 2003 national championship.

While working for the MLBPA (MLB Players Association) and living in Houston, Jose bought front row season tickets to the men's basketball games for several seasons. He would bring his sons to the games, and both ended up signing with Rice. Trei is now in Detroit's organization after being drafted in the 3rd round in 2020. Youngest son Antonio just finished his junior year at Rice, but graduated from Rice in three years - a Cruz family record. I'll have to assume he'll play for Dad next year.

Cruz loves Rice and always has. He has an incredible connection to the professional and amateur baseball world in Houston.

Berkman was a Rice star but always apologized to others for playing at Rice (Texas didn't offer him soon enough).

Why anyone would want Berkman over Cruz is beyond apprehension.

Don't listen to the trolls. This is an amazing move.
(This post was last modified: 06-09-2021 02:37 PM by Fort Bend Owl.)
06-09-2021 02:11 PM
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Musicowl1965 Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
Really really love this move. Cruz loves Rice, gets Rice and I'm confident will do a fantastic job. Excited for Spring 2022!!!
06-09-2021 02:12 PM
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Tomball Owl Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
(06-09-2021 02:05 PM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  Not to brag..but....

Congrats! You need to tell Kendall to stop taking credit for your scoop!
06-09-2021 02:22 PM
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RiceLad15 Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
Surprised by this news, but only because of what was breaking before. I think some of us younger alumni may not have an appreciation for Cruz Jr and his connections to Rice (I've found that Rice sports greats often suffer the indignation of not being passed down to younger generations), but after reading Fort Bend's posts and a few other articles I've found online, I can't imagine anyone not being excited for this hire.

It's a risk to be sure, but this could be a monumental hire if Cruz Jr can prove his collegiate coaching chops.
06-09-2021 02:35 PM
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Rice93 Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
(06-09-2021 02:35 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  Surprised by this news, but only because of what was breaking before. I think some of us younger alumni may not have an appreciation for Cruz Jr and his connections to Rice (I've found that Rice sports greats often suffer the indignation of not being passed down to younger generations), but after reading Fort Bend's posts and a few other articles I've found online, I can't imagine anyone not being excited for this hire.

It's a risk to be sure, but this could be a monumental hire if Cruz Jr can prove his collegiate coaching chops.

With his background I feel very good about Cruz Jr going into recruit's homes and putting parents at ease that their son will be on a path to success.
06-09-2021 02:39 PM
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RiceLad15 Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
(06-09-2021 02:39 PM)Rice93 Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 02:35 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  Surprised by this news, but only because of what was breaking before. I think some of us younger alumni may not have an appreciation for Cruz Jr and his connections to Rice (I've found that Rice sports greats often suffer the indignation of not being passed down to younger generations), but after reading Fort Bend's posts and a few other articles I've found online, I can't imagine anyone not being excited for this hire.

It's a risk to be sure, but this could be a monumental hire if Cruz Jr can prove his collegiate coaching chops.

With his background I feel very good about Cruz Jr going into recruit's homes and putting parents at ease that their son will be on a path to success.

I think he's going to sell the hell out of Rice to recruits. I'm betting we don't have as many recruiting issues going forward.
06-09-2021 02:42 PM
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BSWBRice Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
I'll go on record now to say that I like the hire.

Super curious as to how he's going to fill out his staff.
06-09-2021 02:42 PM
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Tomball Owl Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
(06-09-2021 02:39 PM)Rice93 Wrote:  
(06-09-2021 02:35 PM)RiceLad15 Wrote:  Surprised by this news, but only because of what was breaking before. I think some of us younger alumni may not have an appreciation for Cruz Jr and his connections to Rice (I've found that Rice sports greats often suffer the indignation of not being passed down to younger generations), but after reading Fort Bend's posts and a few other articles I've found online, I can't imagine anyone not being excited for this hire.

It's a risk to be sure, but this could be a monumental hire if Cruz Jr can prove his collegiate coaching chops.

With his background I feel very good about Cruz Jr going into recruit's homes and putting parents at ease that their son will be on a path to success.

If it's good enough for his own sons...
06-09-2021 02:42 PM
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esposito Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
Can someone close to him ask to bring back the OER full time?! No more of that new logo garbage.
06-09-2021 02:47 PM
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Owl1998 Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
(06-09-2021 02:47 PM)esposito Wrote:  Can someone close to him ask to bring back the OER full time?! No more of that new logo garbage.

THIS!!! X 1,000,000,000
06-09-2021 02:49 PM
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Texasowl Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
Was he the batting coach for the Astros also?
(This post was last modified: 06-09-2021 02:50 PM by Texasowl.)
06-09-2021 02:50 PM
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RiceLad15 Offline
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RE: Cruz Jr Hired as Next Coach
(06-09-2021 02:50 PM)Texasowl Wrote:  Was he the batting coach for the Astros also?

Not sure, but he was working for Hinch at the Tigers. So be on a the look out for extra trash cans in the dug out... 05-stirthepot
06-09-2021 02:56 PM
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