March 28, 2023

During my sophomore year, I interviewed California Baptist University’s baseball coach Gary Adcock about what makes Lancer athletics so successful. Adcock gave credit to a “university who gives coaches the resources to develop skills in an environment which is conducive to growth.”

Since then, I have seen how the university — under the direction of Dr. Ronald L. Ellis — blossomed into a formidable force in college athletics. Now, as the university continues to grow rapidly, incoming students get to experience the realization of a vision Ellis had for the university and its athletic department since he became CBU’s president in 1994.

Ellis will be inducted into the Riverside Sport Hall of Fame in May as a contributor in the class of 2020. This is a third-party recognition of what Dr. Ellis has done for Riverside sports by developing a winning tradition at CBU.

In 2012, Ellis received the Chuck Kane Leadership Award from the Riverside Sport Hall of Fame. According to the organization’s website, the award is given “to those who, through their contributing leadership in the Riverside community, have inspired all of us to athletic achievement.”

Ellis seems to have inspired many at CBU to athletic achievement as the department has brought home numerous conference and national titles in the last 25 years.

Aside from putting together a highly-successful athletic staff under athletic director Dr. Micah Parker, Ellis has shown he is committed to athletic success through the development of new and existing athletic facilities.

In his 2019 “State of the University” address, Ellis said the transition to NCAA DI was “another way CBU continually demonstrates the pursuit of excellence.” He went on to say athletic success was one aspect that helps to “strengthen CBU’s reputation as a premiere comprehensive Christian university.”

At the dedication of the Events Center in 2017, Lancer basketball coach Rick Croy acknowledged the importance of Ellis’s vision in bringing the new building to life.

There are so many different factors that go into the success of a collegiate athletic department. However, when someone wants to know the keys to the Lancers’ success, it would not be wrong to do as the Riverside Sport Hall of Fame is doing and acknowledge that the success may flow down from the top.

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