Rick Cruz: The Voice of the Raiders


Kathleen Lewis

Math teacher Rick Cruz in his element announcing the Homecoming football game on Oct. 1. “I love being around sports,” he said. “I try to hype the fans by informing them about what’s happening in the game, but giving it a little more energy.”

Kathleen Lewis, Editor-in-Chief

Any Gulliver football fan can picture the scene as a home game commences: students in the bleachers fighting over flying t-shirts, the Pep Band performing its classic stadium anthems, players in navy-and-white uniforms warming up in sync, and enveloping it all, the voice of math teacher and sports announcer Ricardo Cruz booming enthusiastically through the loudspeakers. 

On Friday, Oct. 1, Cruz rallied the crowd for the much-anticipated Homecoming football game. “I see you and I want to hear you!” he shouted, greeting waving fans by name as Seven Nation Army began to blast. The Raiders went on to clinch their fifth win of the season that day, defeating Champagnat Catholic with a final score of 52–27.

For Cruz, energy and spirit are everything in sports announcing.

“I’m a homer,” he admitted. “While I try to keep it as even as possible, I always pull for our team and our student-athletes. I just love the Raiders.”

After working at Northwest Christian Academy and Immaculata-La Salle High School, Cruz has spent the last 20 years teaching math at the Prep, as well as coaching the varsity basketball and baseball teams. While Cruz no longer coaches, sports announcing remains one of his most important roles on campus. Cruz estimates that he has now announced over 100 football games in his career, in addition to baseball, basketball, soccer, and, recently, lacrosse games.

Both coaches and players attest to the extra thrill that Cruz’s spirited announcing brings to the competitive atmosphere.

“[Cruz’s] artistic delivery of commentating is rich and jam-packed with excitement, and his enthusiasm is the recipe for motivation of our fans and provides inspiration for our team,” head football coach Earl Sims said.

Cruz’s announcing is also meaningful to the baseball team, whose games Cruz also frequently attends.

“His energy and on-the-spot nicknames get our boys pumped, and I’m sure the audience loves what he brings to the mic,” baseball coach Isaac Tijerino said.

Cruz’s passion for athletics translates into his classroom. In his geometry classes, Cruz encourages students to think about learning math in a similar way that they would approach training for a sport: with goal-setting, daily commitment, and ultimately the desire to learn more about themselves in the process. Cruz’s students even call him “coach.”

“There’s so much going on in a young adult’s life that I think that high school is an opportunity [for students] to use their curriculum to find out who they are,” said Cruz. “If students would embrace that more often, they would learn that much more about themselves and that much more about the subject matter.”

Cruz plans on announcing boys and girls soccer games in the winter, as well as returning to baseball, basketball, and lacrosse. While few more home football games are in schedule for the remainder of this year’s football season, fans won’t have to wait long before they hear Cruz’s familiar voice resolutely cheering on the Raiders.