Erik Cruz, the head coach of the EvCC men’s soccer team and his assistant coach, Eric Hawks, don’t see coaching as a new opportunity, but rather as a second chance and a homecoming.
Cruz and Hawks, former players for EvCC, are working to bring a different perspective to coaching.
“My earliest memories of playing soccer was when I was 6 years old playing rec soccer,” said Hawks. “I then started playing select soccer when I got older, then eventually ended up at Everett.”
Cruz, a native of Corona, California started playing in the Mexican Youth teams. When he was 13 years old, he started playing in adult leagues before playing high school soccer at Marysville-Pilchuck. Cruz then went on to join EvCC’s soccer program.
The two players would be teammates in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Cruz was pursuing an engineering degree while Hawks was pursuing an arts degree as well as being apart of EVCC’s firefighter program.
“We had a solid team and it was fun but we just couldn’t put it together those years”, said Hawks. “It was a little frustrating and I definitely wanted to come back and get a second chance to improve the soccer program.”
Hawks would get the chance when Cruz offered him a coaching position.