Chris Reisman named head coach of Tarleton men’s basketball

Tarleton Names New Head Coach

Tarleton Names New Head Coach

Friday, March 23, 2018

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—For the first time in 30 years, Tarleton State University men’s basketball has a new head coach.

Chris Reisman has been named the university’s 14th head coach after spending 17 years as a coach of the Texans and the last 12 as the associate head coach under his father Lonn Reisman. Lonn moves to Tarleton’s full-time athletic director after three decades as head coach.

“We did not have to look hard for a new men’s basketball head coach. He was already on the team,” said President F. Dominic Dottavio. “Chris Reisman is a dyed-in-purple Texan. He played Texan basketball as a student and has set NCAA Division II records as Tarleton men’s assistant and associate head coach. This is a momentous day for Tarleton and well-deserved recognition for all Chris has contributed to the program over the past 17 years.”

“I’m beyond excited to become the next head coach at Tarleton State University,” said Chris Reisman. “I want to thank Dr. Dottavio for this opportunity and his support. This is truly a dream come true, and I could not have got to this point in my coaching career without all the past and current players, my fellow assistant coaches but more than anything, Coach Reisman.

“My father gave me the greatest gift an assistant coach could ever have: unwavering trust. He gave me a platform to showcase my ideas and strategies. He gave me a stepping stone to build my confidence as a coach. If something failed, he took the blame; if something succeeded, he gave me and the other assistant coaches and players the credit. He is the most selfless and humble person I’ve ever known, and not a day went by I didn’t learn from him.”

As the associate head coach, Chris Reisman was the director of recruiting, scouting, academic counseling and individual development in addition to on-the-floor coaching and assisting in the day-to-day operations.

In 2018, Chris was the No. 17-ranked NCAA Division II assistant coach in the country according to

“Chris has been a part of Tarleton State University his whole life,” said Tarleton Athletic Director Lonn Reisman. “He was a four-year player for this university, served as a graduate assistant, then an assistant coach and associate head coach. He’s climbed the ladder and worked diligently his whole career—often times seven days a week—to get to where he is now. This basketball program wouldn’t be where it is today without the dedication, vision and passion that Chris has put into Tarleton Basketball.

“He has helped me tremendously in adapting to the times and to become a better coach,” Lonn Reisman added. “Chris’ knowledge of the game and work ethic will carry him throughout his career, and I’m proud of everything he has accomplished. I know Tarleton Basketball will continue to be an elite program with Chris’ leadership.”

Chris, who completed a four-year playing career for the Texans in 2001, has helped the team to a 480-200 (70.6 percent) record in his 21 years with the program as a player and a coach.

As a coach alone, Chris has helped direct a 414-124 (.770 percent) record in his first 17 years on the coaching staff.

“Coach Reisman has built Tarleton Basketball into a national power,” Chris added. “I’m proud to have worked alongside him these past 17 seasons and help set a standard for our basketball program. It’s a standard I’m extremely proud of, and I will continue to always work toward. The values and pillars that have been the foundation of this program will not change. They are what I know, and I’m excited to hit the ground running.”

In his first year on the coaching staff in 2001-02, the Texans reached the NCAA Division II regional tournament for the first time in program history. Since then, the Texans have made the NCAA tournament in 14 of the last 17 years, winning a Lone Star Conference record four South Central Regional championships. Chris was the assistant coach for the first two Elite Eight appearances and Final Four run in 2005 and 2006. He was the associate head coach for the last two Elite Eights and Final Four trip in 2015 and 2016.

The Texans also have had a run of dominance in the Lone Star Conference, reaching the postseason tournament 17 straight seasons, the longest active streak of any LSC men’s team. The Texans have won eight LSC regular season championships and three LSC tournament titles with Chris on staff.

From 2010-12, with Chris in charge of the scouting and individual development, Tarleton stifled opposing offenses and was recognized as the No. 1 defense in the nation in back-to-back seasons, including the Division I, II, III and Junior College levels. The Texans held opponents to just 53.3 points per game in 2010-11 and followed up in 2011-12 by holding teams to only 56.3 points per game. Tarleton added its third statistical championship of the Chris Reisman coaching era in 2013-14 when the Texans topped the nation in scoring margin.

In addition to being a part of all 14 of Tarleton’s NCAA playoff berths, Chris has helped develop six DII All-Americans in Danny Jones, Tim Burnette, David Stephens, John Davis, Chuck Guy and Romond Jenkins.

As a player at Tarleton, he started 34 games in his last two seasons and finished his career ranked sixth on Tarleton’s all-time assists chart with 281. He led the LSC as a senior in 2001 with 6.08 assists and topped the league as a junior in 2000 with a 2.33 assist-to-turnover ratio. He played in all 29 games as a sophomore in 1999, helping the Texans to the Lone Star Conference championship game.

Chris served on the LSC Commissioners Honor Roll as well as the secretary of the Tarleton established “Athletes Committed to Education” (ACE) organization. For three years, he served on the Student Athletic Advisory Council at Tarleton.

Born in Jonesboro, Ark., Chris graduated from Stephenville High School in 1997. He was a three-year basketball letterman for the Yellow Jackets, earning first team all-district and all-region honors. He led his senior team to the area finals, the furthest it had been in more than 30 years.

Chris, who earned a bachelor’s degree in animal biology from Tarleton in May 2002, completed a master’s degree in physical education in the spring of 2004. He currently serves as a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as well as the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC).

Chris lives in Stephenville with his son, Rush.

Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience, marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. Offering degree programs in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online to more than 13,000 students, Tarleton engages with communities through real-world learning experiences to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.


Contact: Nate Bural, Assistant Director for Athletic Communication
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.