Raptors Announce Basketball Staff Additions
July 1, 2009
The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have re-signed Eric Hughes and added Alvin Williams and Francesco Cuzzolin to their basketball staff. The three join assistant coaches Marc Iavaroni, Alex English and Micah Nori on head coach Jay Triano’s staff.
Hughes returns for his third season with the club, and his first as assistant coach/basketball development. He spent the past two seasons as a basketball development consultant.
Hughes was the director of summer player development for Goodwin Sports Management in Seattle from 2002-06, creating workout programs and training NBA players Jamal Crawford, Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Dwight Howard, Gary Payton, Nate Robinson and Rodney Stuckey. He was also the head coach at Spokane Community College in Spokane, Washington during that time. He compiled an 88-61 (.590) mark in his five seasons, leading the Bigfoot’s to the Eastern Region championship in 2005 and 2006. He was named Eastern Region Coach of the Year for those two seasons.
From 1993-2002, Hughes was an assistant at the University of Washington. His teams qualified for postseason play four consecutive seasons, going to the NIT in 1996 and 1997 and the NCAA Tournament in 1998 and 1999.
Hughes will serve his second consecutive term as Toronto’s head coach in the Las Vegas Summer League. The team will hold a training camp in Las Vegas July 7-9 and play five games from July 10-16.
Williams makes his first foray into coaching since he ended his NBA playing career in 2007. He will serve as assistant coach/basketball development.
One of the most beloved Raptors of all time, Williams spent nine seasons with the organization. He averaged 9.9 points and 4.3 assists in 417 regular season games and 12.5 points and 4.3 assists in 78 playoff appearances.
Williams scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Raptors to a Game 5 triumph over the New York Knicks in 2001, giving Toronto its lone playoff series victory in franchise history. He ranks among the team’s All-Time Top 10 in 14 statistical categories.
Williams will be an assistant coach to Hughes at the Las Vegas Summer League.
Cuzzolin will serve as the Raptors’ assistant coach/strength and conditioning. He brings to the team more than 20 years of professional experience of coaching, teaching and product development in the field of physical fitness and rehabilitation.
Cuzzolin spent 12 of the past 13 seasons with Benetton Treviso in the Italian Serie A League where his teams won the Italian League, Italian Supercup or European Saprta cup on 10 occasions. He also captured the Euroleague championship with Virtus Bologna in 2001.
For the past three summers Cuzzolin has been the strength and conditioning coach for the Russian National Team, including its European Championship squad in 2007 and its 2008 appearance at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Cuzzolin has previous experience working in an NBA environment serving on staff with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers during their summer training camps, as well as at the annual Rbk European Big Man Camp.
Cuzzolin is the president of the European Physical Conditioning Association and a professor at the University of Padua.