In the 2015-16 academic season, Alicia Berber begins her fifteenth season as the Riverside City College (RCC) head women’s basketball coach. Coach Berber is just the fifth women’s basketball coach in Tiger history.
Berber has maintained the success in the program. She has taken nine of her previous 14 teams to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional playoffs, and in 2004-05, took her team to the Commission on Athletics’ (COA, the precursor to the CCCAA) Elite 8. In 2006, her RCC team made it to the Final Four. In fourteen previous seasons (2001-02 through 2014-15), she has amassed an overall record of 252-206 and 105-89 in Orange Empire Conference (OEC) games.
In 2014-15, Berber guided the Tigers to an 18-12 overall won-lost record, 6-6 in OEC games (third place) and a No. 15 berth in the CCCAA Southern California Regional playoffs. In the postseason, RCC won, 71-61, at home over Cuesta College before ending its season with a 76-56 loss at top-ranked (and then-undefeated) Mt. San Antonio College.
She knows the Tiger tradition well. After all, she helped build it. A three-sport star at Perris High School, Coach Berber (nee Rubio) signed a basketball scholarship with UC Riverside, but transferred to RCC after redshirting at UCR. Once she arrived at RCC it took her little time in making her mark.
She concluded her career with 1,280 points, then a RCC record. In all, Coach Berber holds six single –season records, six career records, and three single-game records. She was the conference MVP her sophomore season and led the Tigers to the state championships. Berber was also named a KODAK All-America, the first and only in the College’s history.
After graduating from RCC, Coach Berber attended Washington State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She had a tryout with the Los Angeles Sparks before settling into life as a high school coach and educator. She also holds a master’s degree in education with emphasis in kinesiology from California State University, San Bernardino.
After a successful stint at Norte Vista High School, where she turned around a struggling program, she returned home to RCC. While at Norte Vista she was named league Coach of the Year. Berber is a well-recognized coach, having been selected as the District’s Coach of the Year in 2005 and the 2006 CCCWBCA State Coach of the Year for Southern California. She has also earned honors twice as the Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2011.
In 2008, Berber was inducted into the California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCWBCA) Hall of Fame. It was her second enshrinement after being inducted into the Riverside Community College District’s Hall of Fame in 2007. In spring 2015, Berber finished serving a two-year term as president of the CCCWBCA and is currently serving a two-year term as the group's past president.
Berber is married to Frank Berber and they reside in Riverside with their son, Maximus (12), and daughter, Athena (7).