Rick Cabrera introduced as the new men’s basketball head coach



Northwestern State University of Louisiana introduces Coach Rick Cabrera as the new head coach of the men’s basketball team.

On Mar. 30, Northwestern State University of Louisiana introduced Rick Cabrera as the new men’s basketball head coach.

Cabrera coached the 12th seed Tallahassee in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas, taking them all the way to the semi-finals. The head coaching position at Northwestern State will be the biggest job of Cabrera’s career after previously spending 13 years doing Division I assistant coaching.

With students, donors, media and his family present, Cabrera spoke of this opportunity as a lifelong dream come true.

“My dream job is being here as your head coach. When I decided to get into coaching, I laid down at night and said I want to be a Division I head basketball coach,” Cabrera said, now the 11th men’s basketball head coach to enter the athletic program. “This is my first opportunity, so this is my dream job. I’m so greatly appreciative of having this opportunity.”

Cabrera will continue in the new era of Demon basketball replacing former head coach Corey Gipson who resigned from the position after one season at NSU. Cabrera gave thanks to past coaches who have come through the university from Henry Lee Prather and J.D. Barnett to Mike McConathy who Cabrera speaks to have had a great impact on his career.

Now, replacing Gipson, Cabrera acknowledges the incredible work done by Gipson in such a short time.

“Corey did a great job. He brought us some great players–some great young men. He did a great job within the community which is very important and I’m going to follow those steps,” Coach Cabera said.

Gipson’s resignation came just a few days after the Demons’ 75-71 loss to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in the Southland Conference championship, the first appearance since 2013. The Demons finished the season as the #2 seed with a record of 22-11 overall and 13-6 versus the SLC, the best record in the last decade for the program. NSU had the #1 defense in the conference holding their opponents to only 72.1 points per game and an All-Southland Defensive selectee.

Gipson has moved on to be the head coach of the men’s basketball team for Austin Peay State University. He was the first Black head coach in the NSU athletic program to ever be at the helm of the men’s basketball team. Cabrera embraces now being the second to coach for NSU.

“It’s so humbling to see people of color move up in this business,” said Cabrera, who has an overall record of 152-45. “We’re slowly getting there. There’s not enough, and not in just basketball but football and other sports. I’m going to cherish this moment.”

The direction for the Demon’s basketball future has now been left to the 2023 Hoop Dirt’s Junior College Coach of the Year, that is Cabrera who led TCC to a 31-6 record and a berth in the NJCAA Tournament semifinals.

Cabrera stressed the importance of great chemistry among his staff and players as well as instilling toughness in the team. Cabrera will be building his staff and recruiting new players over the next few months until the 2023-24 season rolls around in the fall.