Paul Ricci, who for the last three season has served as Maryland’s director of basketball performance, resigned Tuesday to take a similar job working with basketball players at Texas Tech.
Ricci, a former offensive lineman at Penn State, was credited with improving the strength, flexibility, stamina and conditioning of Terrapins’ players through his emphasis on pregame and postgame workouts that stressed the full range of on-court movements by basketball players. In addition, injury rates were down during his tenure, with just one starter missing one game during his three seasons.
Ricci spearheaded the planning of, and $550,000 private fundraising effort for, a workout facility dedicated to the Maryland basketball players’ needs. Located in a former storage facility at Comcast Center, it is due to open this fall.
In a telephone interview, Ricci said he was extremely thankful for the opportunity to work with Maryland’s basketball players, and for the chance to convince former coach Gary Williams that his methods, some of which are new to the sport, would translate to healthier, less injury-prone players.
While Ricci said he enjoyed working with the new basketball staff brought in by Coach Mark Turgeon, he said the new organizational structure didn’t allow him to report directly to the head coach. As a result, Ricci said he felt he wouldn’t have the latitude and authority needed to supervise players’ conditioning going forward.
He’ll start his new job at Texas Tech next week.