UCR Athletics welcomes in new members



Courtesy of UCR Athletics

UCR’s athletic family welcomed in some new members this month as men’s basketball, softball and the athletic department all made new hirings.

UCR Athletics added Marlon Wood and recent Highlander graduate Austin Quick (‘16) as academic counselors. Wood has a BA in political science from the University of Washington as well as an MA in human services and an MED in teaching and learning from LIberty. Wood is currently pursuing an MS in mental health and wellness from Grand Canyon University. He also has teaching and basketball coaching experience in Tampa, Florida.

Quick played for the Highlanders’ basketball team from 2011-15 and holds the record for most games played in by any player in team history. Quick also served as the Vice President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, graduated cum laude and served as a special assistant to men’s basketball’s Head Coach Dennis Cutts.

Cutts has made some hirings of his own, bringing in Will Kimble as an assistant coach and promoting UCR alum Nico Romero (‘16) to director of basketball operations. Kimble will specialize in post-player development and team academics. His coaching accolades will certainly strengthen the Highlander coaching staff with his experience at the junior college level with Citrus Community College and the Division I level at his alma mater Pepperdine. Romero has been with the team since 2014 and has assisted in all team activities including travel and budget to on-campus recruiting and film breakdown.

New softball head coach Nikki Palmer rounded out the new additions on Wednesday, Sept. 28 with the hiring of three-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American, Cheridan Hawkins. Palmer told gohighlanders.com that “Cheridan brings a tremendous amount of high-level experience and enthusiasm that will greatly benefit our pitching staff in the Big West this year,” and expects her to impact the pitching staff right away.

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