It's safe to say Tarleton head basketball coach and athletic director Lonn Reisman had a pretty solid year after claiming the Lone Star Conference regular season championship and taking the team to the NCAA Division II Final Four.
But the accolades don't stop there.
Reisman was recently named the Texas Associate of Basketball Coaches (TABC) Small College Coach of the Year.
“It means a lot to be recognized in the state of Texas as a coach of the year,” Reisman said. “What means more to me though is that I give a lot of credit to my staff for this. They’ve been tremendous and this to me is not an individual award.”
The coaching staff is made up of Lonn’s son, Chris Reisman, along with Marlin Cloudy, Chris Harrell and Coleman Furst.
“Chris does a tremendous job and has since he was a graduate assistant here,” Reisman said. “He’s responsible for so much of the success we’ve had over the last 15 years. Marlin Cloudy, Chris Harrell and Coleman Furst all played for me and understand what it takes to win and how much hard work goes into this. You’re only as good as the people who work for you.”
The award is the third of Reisman’s 27-year career at Tarleton and he said receiving this kind of recognition is a blessing.
“I don’t think anyone can ever expect an award like this because there’s so many outstanding coaches in the state of Texas,” he said. “I’m humbled by the selection of the TABC and that they would honor our program with such an award. We’re thankful for it, we’re blessed and it means a great deal to our program, to Tarleton State University and to Stephenville.”
When you win something three times it’s proof that something has been built correctly. Reisman acknowledges that and says it's a major factor in the accolades the program wins.
“I look at it as that we’ve been able to keep our program at such a high and consistent level and we’ve really been able to build a winning tradition here,” he said. “Things like that give you the opportunity to achieve success with awards like this. I give our fans also a lot of credit for this. They pack the gym every game night and that means a lot to our players and that gives them the motivation to be successful. Our program is a family affair between the school and the residents of Stephenville.”
There is one thing that every coach cannot be successful without - his team. A coach can progress a program but without players buying into the coaching, one can only go so far. Last year’s team, according to Reisman, was one that put team success before personal accolades.
“This team really played well together as a whole,” he said. “They played within their roles and within their strengths. There wasn’t one person we really had to count on all the time. When you have that type of camaraderie on the team where all you’re worried about is the team and not yourself, then you’re going to find success and this found that.”
Above all though, the players and young men that Reisman coaches are why he does what he does, awards are just icing on the cake.
“We have been so grateful and blessed for the program that has been built here over the last 27 years,” he said. “We’ve done so much. I’ve watched young men graduate, become successful men in the professional world and build families and that’s extremely important to me and that’s what strives me to still coach and succeed. I like working with the young men and try to help develop them into better men over the lives. I give all of the credit for everything we’ve done to the glory of God. Without him, none of this is possible.”