News and Information
Reisman notches 500th win at helm of Texan basketball team
Tarleton State University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Since Lonn Reisman became men’s basketball coach at Tarleton State University in 1988, the shorts may have gotten longer and the school’s athletic affiliation changed, but winning has been a constant.
Reisman, who is in his 24th season at the helm of the Texans, notched win No. 500 at Tarleton Saturday night, Jan. 21 in front of a home crowd, as the purple and white defeated Texas A&M-Commerce, 78-53.
“I think it’s the top milestone I’ve had here just because it’s a sign of my dedication to the university for so many years, and of the university’s commitment and the community’s commitment to our basketball program,” Reisman said of win No. 500. “So many people have taken part in this, I can’t even begin to thank them because I wouldn’t know where to start. This is truly a humbling moment for me.”
As a tribute to all the previous victories at Tarleton under Reisman, the Texans wore their throwback uniforms which read either “team,” “family,” or “believe” on the back.
As the Texans and their fans celebrated after the milestone victory, Reisman reminisced about his first win at Tarleton, when the school was still a member of the NAIA and had recorded just two winning seasons in 27 years as a senior college.
“Twenty-four years ago I called a timeout with 10 seconds to go ... we were down two points and Tracy Guy hits a shot at the top of the key here and we beat Mary-Hardin Baylor, 72-71,” an emotional Reisman told fans at Wisdom Gymnasium after the No. 4 Texans recorded their 13-straight victory and improved to 17-1 on the season. “I’ve given my life to this university, and I’m trying to do it the right way. I want to thank you. You’ve been the best fans for 24 years that anyone could ever hope for. God bless you.”
That was the first of many memorable wins by the Texans, who have become a national basketball powerhouse under the guidance of Reisman, who also serves as Tarleton’s director of athletics.
More than 2,500 fans turned out to take part in the win, which allowed the Texans to remain atop the Lone Star Conference (LSC) standings with a perfect, 9-0 record.
During the 1988-89 season, Tarleton went on to win the Texas Intercollegiate Athletics Association title in Reisman’s first season, and repeated that feat the next two seasons before being NAIA District 8 champions twice and NAIA Southwest Region Champions once. Tarleton then made the jump to NCAA Division II as a member of the LSC in 1994-95.
Since adding scholarships in 1994, Reisman has led the Texans to 10 winning seasons and eight LSC tournament appearances, including five trips to the conference championship game. Reisman, who has coached 13 All-America selections and 15 first team All-LSC picks while at Tarleton, came here with 13 years of experience from high school to NCAA Division I level.
The first two seasons in Division II were Reisman’s only losing campaigns. The Texans reached their first NCAA Championship in 2001-02 and hosted their first South Central Region Championship after sharing the LSC North title in 2002-03.
Tarleton won the LSC North outright in 2003-04 and again hosted the regional. The Texans reached the pinnacle of Division II basketball—the Final Four—in 2004-05. They returned to the Elite Eight the next year, and hosted a regional again in 2007-08.
Tarleton won its fourth LSC Divisional title last year, claiming the South championship outright in the league’s final year of divisional play.
Since his arrival at Tarleton, Reisman has been named “Coach of the Year” 10 times, including being named LSC South Division Coach of the Year in 2011. Prior to the LSC North Division honors in 2004, he was South Division Coach of the Year in 2002, he was TIAA Coach of the Year on three occasions, NAIA District 8 Coach of the Year twice and NAIA Southwest Region Coach of the Year in 1994.
Reisman also received the inaugural Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Small College Coach of the Year Award in 2004. The Texan head coach received the TABC award again in 2006.
“When I first started at Tarleton, I never thought about things like winning 500 games. I wasn’t even thinking about winning 100,” said Reisman. “The program had been down for so long, I just wanted to win one. Well we got one, then we got some more, then I found myself falling in love with this community and with this university. Now, it’s 24 years later and I’m still here, so I guess I must love this place a whole lot, and they must like me OK, too.”
After the game, the Texans donned commemorative 500-win t-shirts and unveiled a banner to congratulate their head coach at center court as fans gave a standing ovation. The Tarleton basketball band, Foul Play, also continued tradition with the playing of the school song as Lonn stood by his son Chris Reisman and grandson, Rush, proudly holding one finger high in the air.
The alma mater wasn’t the only tradition protected last Saturday night at Wisdom Gym. The tradition of winning under Reisman was boldly defended, and carried to new heights.
It’s something Tarleton has done time and again. Five-hundred times over.
Coach Reisman’s Career
1981-1987, assistant coach at Soutehastern Oklahoma State University
1987-1988, head coach at Connors State (Okla.) Junior College (21-10)
1988-2012, head coach at Tarleton State University (500-211)
Overall career wins: 537
Overall college record: 521-221
Record at Tarleton: 500-211
Notable wins at Tarleton:
100th: Nov. 27, 1992 vs. Arkansas Baptist, 73-61
150th: Dec. 2, 1995 vs. Panhandle State, 83-63
200th: Dec. 28, 1998 vs. Delta State, 75-72
250th: Dec. 31, 2002 vs. Southwestern Oklahoma, 87-77
300th: Dec. 19, 2003 vs. Western Washington, 95-90
350th: Nov. 19, 2006 at Texas Christian, 68-59
400th: Dec. 29, 2007 at St. Edward’s, 72-58
450th: Jan. 23, 2010 at West Texas A&M, 69-56
500th: Jan. 21, 2012 vs. Texas A&M-Commerce, 78-53
Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System
Contact: Kurt Mogonye