Rudy Hackett is in his fourth season with the Trojans as strength and conditioning manager and second as the coordinator of team travel. He brings a wealth of basketball experiences from all levels to the USC program.
He excels in developing and improving individual player's skills and has had success in designing programs that have aided players in getting the most out of their abilities.
Hackett, 55, who was an assistant coach and dean of discipline at St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, Calif., moved back to the United States from Italy five years ago. In Italy he played, coached and taught, but returned to the U.S. so that his son could be exposed to the American game.
The 6-9 Hackett starred as a forward at Syracuse from 1973 to 1975, earning second-team AP All-American honors in 1975 when his team reached the Final Four. He averaged 17.2 points during his career and in 2002 was named an honorable mention on the all-time NCAA tournament team, as he averaged 17.7 points and 11 rebounds in nine postseason games. He also was selected in 2000 as one of 25 Syracuse players honored on the university's all-century team.
Hackett ranks sixth on the Syracuse all-time rebounding list with 990 in his career. His total of 407 rebounds his final season at Syracuse (1974-75) are the most ever by a Syracuse senior and the second-best total in a season, trailing only Derrick Coleman's 422 rebounds in the 1988-89 season. Hackett also scored 709 points, good for a 22.2 average in 1974-75, the eighth most points scored in a single season by a Syracuse player.
Hackett played professionally in the ABA with the St. Louis Spirits in 1975. He spent the next two seasons playing for the New Jersey Nets and the Indiana Pacers. Hackett furthered his 15-year playing career in Europe, playing in the Italian Professional League. He also spent five years coaching in Italy.
Hackett is a native of Mount Vernon, NY and attended Mount Vernon High before heading off to Syracuse. He met his wife, Katia, while playing basketball in Italy. They have one son, Daniel, who is a junior on the USC basketball team. They reside in Downey, Calif.