August 11, 2010


Kreuter out, Cruz in at USC


Assistant coach Frank Cruz has been elevated to interim head coach for the 2011 season after the firing of head coach Chad Kreuter by new athletic director Pat Haden.


A former major-league catcher, Kreuter posted a record of 111-117 (.487) over the past four years with the Trojans, including 39-63 (.382) in the Pac-10. USC finished no higher than fifth, including ninth in 2007 and 10th this past season. USC was 28-32 in 2010, including 7-20 in the Pac-10. Over the past four years, the Trojans were 3-11 against cross-town rival UCLA.


The 51-year-old Cruz was a volunteer assistant at USC for the past two years. He was also an assistant with the Trojans from 1993-96. He helped USC reach the College World Series in 1995, its first trip to Omaha in 17 years.


Cruz was head coach at Loyola Marymount from 1997-2008, finishing eighth in West Coast Conference history in overall wins (329) and sixth in conference victories (170). The Lions won three straight WCC titles from 1998 to 2000 and made three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Cruz was named WCC Coach of the Year three times (1998, 2000, 2004).


Cruz was an assistant coach for Team USA in 2000, helping the Americans post a record of 27-3-1. Team USA topped Cuba twice to win the 2000 IBAF Tournament in The Netherlands.


In 2004, Cruz was the head coach for Team USA and guided the program to its first gold medal at the FISU World University Championships in Taiwan.


Before coaching at USC, Cruz was head coach at University High in Los Angeles. He posted a record of 152-68 and was area Coach of the Year three times. Cruz led University to the 1988 L.A. City baseball title, four Western League championships and six appearances in the L.A. City baseball playoffs.


Cruz attended Santa Monica College and transferred to Pepperdine, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1983 and a master’s degree in education in 1989.