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You knew there had to be something special about Dedeaux Field from the day it first opened its gates on March 30, 1974.
Frank Cruz was named interim head coach on August 9, 2010, after spending two seasons as USC's volunteer assistant coach in his second tour of duty with the Trojans. He was named the full-time head coach on May 19, 2011, by USC athletic director Pat Haden.
Cruz spent four seasons at Troy as an assistant coach (1993-96) under former head coach Mike Gillespie prior to his 12-year tenure as head coach at Loyola Marymount (1997-2008).
During his four years as an assistant coach at USC, the Trojans compiled a 169-86-1 record and made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. In 1995, USC made its first College World Series appearance in 17 years, reaching the championship game and finishing with a 49-21 record.
As LMU's head coach, he had a 329-356-3 record. He finished ranked eighth in West Coast Conference history for overall victories and sixth in conference wins (170). The Lions won three straight WCC titles from 1998-2000 as well as making three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Cruz was named assistant coach for the 2000 United States National Team as the squad compiled a 27-3-1 record, finishing the season with a 21-game unbeaten streak. Team USA beat Cuba twice to win the 2000 IBAF Tournament in the Netherlands.
USA Baseball invited Cruz back to the program again in 2004, this time as the head coach for Team USA. The team won the program's first gold medal at the FISU World University Championships in Taiwan, winning 12 of its final 14 games. He was named 2004 IBF International Coach of the Year and U.S. National Development Coach of the Year.
Before USC, he was the head coach at University High School in Los Angeles, posting a 152-68 career record. He led University to the 1988 L.A. City baseball title, four Western League crowns (1988-90-91-92) and six trips to the city baseball playoffs.
He attended Santa Monica College and transferred to Pepperdine, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1983 in physical education and master's degree in 1989 in education. He is a graduate of St. Monica High School and resides in West Los Angeles.
Dan Hubbs begins his first season as associate head coach after 12 seasons as pitching coach at California.
Hubbs was a 3-year (1991-93) letterman at USC, including as a senior in 1993 when Cruz was in his first year as a USC assistant. He currently is fourth on the Trojans' career saves list (22) and eighth on the career strikeouts per inning chart (9.19). He posted a career record of 19-13 with a 3.58 ERA in 81 appearances (64 in relief).
In his 12-year (2000-11) tenure at Cal, the 40-year-old Hubbs regularly produced team ERAs among the lowest in the Pac-10. Three times, his pitching staff set a school record for season strikeouts, including 475 in 2011 when the Golden Bears--a program that was slated to be discontinued after 2011 due to budget cuts but was saved through fundraising efforts--advanced to the College World Series for the first time since 1992. His 2011 staff was second in the Pac-10 with a 2.90 team ERA, posted 11 shutouts and at one point went 47 innings without allowing an earned run.
Besides being a top recruiter, he helped develop some of the greatest pitchers in Cal history, including current major leaguers Brandon Morrow, who became the school's highest draft pick ever (fifth in 2006), and Tyson Ross, Freshman All-Americans Kevin Miller (2008), Justin Jones (2010) and Kyle Porter (2011) and 2011 All-Pac-10 first teamer Erik Johnson. He produced Pac-10 save leaders in 2001 (Matt Brown) and 2004 (Jesse Ingram) and the school's career strikeout leader (Trevor Hutchinson). He had 4 pitchers drafted in 2011 and 3 in 2008, and saw 25 of his pitchers sign professional baseball contracts.
Before going to Cal, Hubbs was the pitching coach of the Yakima Bears (a short-season single A minor league Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate in Yakima, Wash.) and assisted Pepperdine during the 1999 season.
After seeing action in just 4 games as a 1990 freshman, he had a 7-2 record with a 3.60 ERA as a relief pitcher in 1991 as the Trojans won the Pac-10 title. He went 7-6 in 1992 with a 3.97 ERA as a starter. He returned to the bullpen in 1993, setting the since-broken USC season saves record (a national-best 18) while going 5-5 with a 2.96 ERA and a team-high 90 strikeouts as he earned All-American first team and All-Pac-10 first team honors. The Trojans advanced to the NCAA Regionals in 1990, 1991 and 1993.
Hubbs earned a bachelor's degree in finance from USC in 1993.
He had a 7-year (1993-99) minor league career with the Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. He finished second in the Dodgers' organization with 126 strikeouts in 1994. In 1996, he went a combined 16-1 between AAA Albuquerque (7-1) and La Romana (9-0) of the Dominican winter league, and was named to Baseball America's Winter League All-Star Team. He led the Pacific Coast League in appearances in 1997, taking the mound 62 times in a 144-game season. He finished his career with a 27-16 record with nine saves and a 3.75 ERA. In 427 innings, he struck out 436 while walking only 172.
He was born on Jan. 23, 1971. He and his wife, Alison, a USC graduate, have 2 sons, Patrick (11) and Charlie (8).
On September 7, 2010, former USC baseball and major league infielder Gabe Alvarez was named assistant coach by interim head coach Frank Cruz.
"I'm excited about bringing Gabe aboard and having a three-time All-American working with our players," said Cruz. "He will work primarily with the infielders, but also with our hitters along with assistant coach Doyle Wilson."
Alvarez played at USC as a shortstop from 1993-95 and had a career .338 batting average for the Trojans with 28 home runs and 163 RBI. He earned Baseball America All-America second team honors in his 1993 freshman season after batting .326 with eight home runs and 53 RBI. In 1994, he was a first team All-America pick by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association after batting .326 with seven home runs and 51 RBI.
In 1995, he was part of the Trojan squad that made its first trip to the College World Series since 1978 as USC reached the national title game. After batting .361 with 13 home runs and 59 RBI, Alvarez earned ABCA and NCBWA All-America first team, Collegiate Baseball All-America second team and Baseball America All-America third team honors.
He was a second-round selection in the 1995 major league baseball draft by the San Diego Padres and played three seasons in the major leagues (1998-2000). He was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1997 expansion draft before being traded to the Detroit Tigers. He made his debut in 1998 with the Tigers, batting .231 with five home runs and 29 RBI. He was eventually traded to the San Diego Padres in 2000, where he finished his career by playing 92 total major league games.
The El Monte native and graduate from Bishop Amat High is single and has a 10-year-old daughter, Madison.
On September 14, 2011, former USC and Professional baseball player Jason Brown was been named a Trojan volunteer assistant coach by USC head coach Frank Cruz.
"We are very excited to bring another former Trojan baseball player aboard," said Cruz. "He has always been a huge supporter of USC baseball going back to his playing days and he has a relentless work ethic that we envision rubbing off on our players. Jason is going to be an asset for us in teaching and coaching all aspects of the game."
Brown saw action as a catcher, first baseman, designated hitter and outfielder at USC from 1994 to 1997, posting a career batting average of .311 with 14 home runs and 77 RBI. He earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors as a senior in 1997, while hitting .368 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI.
In 1995, he was a part of the Trojan squad that made its first trip to the College World Series since 1978 as USC reached the national title game.
He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as an undrafted free agent in 1997 and played in the Dodgers' system until 2000. Brown went on to play another eight seasons in the farm systems of the Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Montreal Expos and New York Yankees.
Brown made the switch to coaching in 2009 as a varsity assistant coach at his alma mater, Palos Verdes High School. He spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach of the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod League.
He holds a degree in business administration from USC.
Undergraduate Assistant Coach
On September 20, 2011, former USC All-American catcher and third overall pick in the 1999 major league baseball draft Eric Munson was named Trojan undergraduate assistant coach by USC head coach Frank Cruz.
Munson joins assistant head coach Dan Hubbs, assistant coach Gabe Alvarez and volunteer assistant Jason Brown on the 2011-12 coaching staff. All four individuals played at USC.
"It is incredible to have a person like Eric come back and coach as well as to continue the pursuit of his college degree," said USC head coach Frank Cruz. "He sets a great example for our players as to how they should balance their careers. To be the No. 3 pick in the draft and finish your education is a testament to the type of kids we want at USC. "
Munson, who starred at USC from 1997 to 1999, helped the Trojans to their 12th national title in 1998. During that title run, he batted .476 in the College World Series and was named to the All-CWS team.
On USC's career lists, he ranks third in home runs (44), fourth in slugging percentage (.655), sixth in batting average (.356), ninth in RBI (147), tied for ninth in walks (106), and tenth in total bases (364).
Munson played for the USA National Team in both the summer of 1997 and 1998. He was also named The Sporting News National Freshman of the Year in 1997 and a first team All-American in 1999.
A first round selection of the Detroit Tigers, Munson played five seasons with the organization, including stand-out campaigns in 2003 and 2004 in which he totaled 18 and 19 home runs, respectively. He went on to play for the Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres before retiring in 2010.
"His baseball experience and knowledge is top-notch," said Cruz. "With a national title and a professional career under his belt, the insight he will be able to provide to our catchers and hitters will be a huge addition for us. "
The San Diego native is a graduate of Mt. Carmel High School. He and his wife, Shanda, have 2 children, Solen (7) and Soraya (3)