After leading Tarleton State to its best win percentage as a senior college, head coach Lonn Reisman has been named one of 12 finalists for the 2014 Clarence "Big House" Gaines award for NCAA Division II Coach of the Year.
"Just to be mentioned in the same sentence as John Gaines is a humbling honor. It's not an honor I ever thought I would receive when I coached my first game at Tarleton and there were 16 people in attendance," Reisman said. "I'm very proud of what we have built here, and I believe this is just more proof that people nationwide recognize what we have built and that we have one of the best Division II basketball programs in America."
Reisman, already the 2013-14 Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year, guided the Texans to a mark of 28-3 for a win percentage of .903. The Texans won a share of the LSC regular season championship, won their second straight LSC tourney title and reached the second round of the NCAA Championship.
The Texans had their highest scoring team in school history at 85.8 points per game, good for first in the Lone Star Conference. Tarleton also led the LSC in scoring defense at 65.5 points per game.
Reisman coached two Daktronics All-South Central Region honorees in Chuck Guy and De'Andre Upchurch. Guy was also named an All-American and a Reese's Division II all-star by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was voted LSC Player of the Year by the league's head coaches. Upchurch led the LSC in scoring and was voted LSC Championship MVP by media covering the event.
"Being nominated for this honor is about much more than just myself," Reisman said. "It's about the hard work and dedication of all our players and of our coaching staff. I have one of the best staffs in the nation, I truly believe that. Without Chris (Reisman), Marlin Cloudy, Chris Harrell and the other coaches who have been with me through the years, I would not be nominated for an honor like this. And I also have to mention the administration, students and the community that shows us so much support. It takes a lot of people to build a winning program."
The Gaines award is named for the former Winston-Salem State (NC) head coach who boasts a career record of 828 wins and 446 losses. At the time of his retirement in 1993, he was the winningest active coach in the NCAA. Gaines was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.
The winner of the 2014 Gaines Award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Dallas Friday. The banquet is being held in conjunction with the Division I Final Four, being played Saturday and Monday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.