published Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Mocs' Ricky Cabrera returning to TTU

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga assistant basketball coach Ricky Cabrera is leaving the Mocs program to coach at Tennessee Tech.

Cabrera spent four seasons with UTC head coach John Shulman.

"It was an opportunity to go back to my alma mater and the school where it all started for me," Cabrera said. "I wanted to start a new chapter in my life. I talked it over with my wife, and we felt it was the right time."

Cabrera graduated from Tech when Shulman was an assistant there for Jeff Lebo and began his coaching career in Cookeville. He spent four years as head coach at Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania.

Shulman hired Cabrera before the 2008-09 season. He helped guide UTC to the Southern Conference tournament title and an NCAA tournament appearance.

"The opportunity Shulman gave me is first and foremost appreciated, and I enjoyed my time here," Cabrera said.

Cabrera had a variety of duties at UTC and will have a similar role for TTU coach Steve Payne, who guided the Golden Eagles to a 19-14 record last year in his first season.

"I don't know if it's really a case where I'll be the one, the two or three assistant," Cabrera said. "I'll go there, do on-court coaching and recruiting."

Said Shulman: "I'm happy for Rick, and he's really going home. You've always got to be prepared [to replace people]. We have to have a guy by July 1st. We're in a hurry but don't have to go crazy."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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