Paul Ricci begins his first season as the Director of Basketball Performance for head coach Billy Gillispie after spending the previous three seasons in the same capacity on the University of Maryland men's basketball staff.
At Maryland, he was credited by coaches and players alike with outstanding progress with the Terrapins in terms of strength, flexibility and conditioning. Ricci had many of the Terps in their best condition possible, helping the team be prepared in his first season for a late-season run that resulted in a semifinal appearance in the ACC Tournament and an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
His responsibilities included establishing the first exclusive men's basketball strength and conditioning program at the school, as well as creating a comprehensive system to evaluate movement patterns and corrective solutions. Ricci's program helped identify the top three needs of the team and helped turn those needs into strengths. He implemented a sport-specific yoga program, worked on the Bod Pod body composition analyzer and administered the Functional Movement Screen to assess and correct movement dysfunction for the team.
Prior to Maryland, Ricci spent nine seasons on the strength and conditioning staff of the Baltimore Ravens. During his time in Baltimore, the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV, and he worked with 17 NFL Pro-Bowlers, including Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis and Terrell Suggs. In his last season, he served as an assistant on the Ravens defensive staff.
Prior to his time with the Ravens, he served on the strength & conditioning staffs of the San Diego Padres, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks.
Ricci was an offensive lineman at Penn State University before he finished his undergraduate career with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and leadership from Temple University in December 1993. He earned a master's at Goucher College in 2005.
He is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, and has been certified by the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise.
Ricci is a certified specialist on the Functional Movement Screen and has become a certified sports performance coach by USA Weightlifting.