APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball head coach Matt Figger has announced that Dalonte Hill and Ricky Cabrera will join his coaching staff.
Hill is a former assistant at Maryland who also served on staff with Figger at Kansas State, while Cabrera comes to Clarksville from Ohio Valley Conference foe Tennessee Tech, where he had been on staff since 2012-13.
“Both of those guys have been associate head coaches at other program,” Figger said. “They have a lot of experience bringing in high-major level kids. They’re both great on-the-court teachers and communicators and will represent our university well. Both of them get me and understand me. I have a huge amount of trust in both of them.”
A former guard for the Golden Eagles, Cabrera spent five seasons on the sidelines in Cookeville Tennessee, ascending to associate head coach duties in 2015-16 under Steve Payne. Cabrera spearheaded recruiting during his second tenure on the sidelines for Tennessee Tech, helping land All-OVC performers such as Ryan Martin and Torrance Rowe.
Cabrera got his coaching start at his alma mater, spending a season as a graduate assistant under Jeff Lebo and earning his master’s in instructional leadership in 2001. From there, Cabrera spent a season as head coach at Miami (Fla.) Killian High School and two seasons as an assistant at Keystone College before ascending to the head coaching job at Lackawanna Junior College.
During his time at Lackawanna, Cabrera accumulated a 100-28 record and two region titles, earning two region Coach of the Year honors (2005-06); he coached three NJCAA All-Americans and eight All-Region performers.
He joined John Shulman’s staff at Chattanooga in 2008, serving four seasons under the former Tennessee Tech assistant. He got his first taste of NCAA success with the Mocs, winning Southern Conference North Division titles in 2009 and 2011 and reaching the 2011 NCAA Tournament with a SoCon Tournament win.
As a player, Cabrera spent his first two seasons at Vincennes University, playing alongside future pros Tyrone Nesby and Clarksville native Shawn Marion. He finished up his collegiate career at Tennessee Tech, earning Team MVP as a senior and his multidisciplinary studies degree in 1999.
“Rick played for me at Vincennes and has always been part of my life in the coaching world,” Figger said. “I coached him and I have a huge amount of trust in him.”
His father, Hugo Cabrera, Sr., was voted as the Dominican Republic’s “Player of the Century” and is in that country’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Rick has also played professional basketball in the Dominican Republic.
Hill earned a reputation as an ace recruiter during his time at Kansas State and Maryland, helping the Terrapins rebuild with back-to-back top-25 signing classes (2012-13)
Hill and Figger served on staff at Kansas State from 2006-11 for Bob Huggins and Frank Martin, aiding Martin as he built the Wildcats from a lightly-regarded squad to a Big 12 power; after Huggins left following Hill’s first season, Martin promoted him to associate head coach.
During Hill’s time on campus, Kansas State won 20 games in four of five seasons. Hill helped land a pair of national top-10 recruits in Michael Beasley and Bill Walker in 2006, earning the nation’s top-rated signing class by Scout.com and Rivals.com. During his time at Kansas State, Hill brought four McDonald’s All-Americans to Manhattan.
“At Kansas State, we were part of a lot of wins together,” Figger said. “He knows what I want to do and has my vision and is someone I trust deeply.”
He worked his magic back home at Maryland as well, pulling in local standouts such as Melo Trimble to help Mark Turgeon bring the Terrapins back to prominence.
Hill had recently returned to the AAU ranks but was lured to Clarksville with the promise of helping Figger rebuild Austin Peay into an OVC power.
As a player, Hill helped Charlotte to three postseason appearances—the 49ers advanced to the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 during Hill’s freshman season. He played his senior season at Bowie State before returning to Charlotte to complete his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2001.
“Each hire is a guy who has been a friend of mine since I’ve been in this business,” Figger said. “I’m big about loyalty and trust and these guys have helped me get to where I am as the head coach at Austin Peay.”