Tarleton State University head men’s basketball coach and Director of Athletics Lonn Reisman has been selected to receive the 2018 Guardians of the Game Award presented by TallOrder.com from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Reisman will receive the award for leadership at the 2018 AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show on Sunday, April 1, at the Lila Cockrell Theater in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio.
Reisman, now in his 30th season at Tarleton, arrived in 1988 to take over a men’s basketball program that had no scholarships, had a 3-25 record the year before and only one winning season in 26 years. In the next six seasons, the Texans won three conference championships and made three NAIA national tournament appearances before joining the NCAA as a Division II member in 1994.
Changing the culture and providing scholarships, Reisman has since led Tarleton to 21 winning seasons and 19 Lone Star Conference championship games. The Texans have had national success reaching four Elite Eights and the Division II Final Four twice while also earning 15 All-America selections with a stellar overall record of 635-250.
Beyond the basketball court, Reisman is in his 24th year as director of athletics and has guided the Texans and TexAnns in most sports programs to prominence in NCAA Division II.
“Lonn has always been a strong advocate for basketball and has built one of the preeminent Division II programs in America that has stood the test of time,” said NABC Past President Larry Gipson, former coach at Northeastern State. “In addition to being an outstanding basketball coach, he has elevated other sports at Tarleton as the athletic director.”
Reisman has served nationally as a member of the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee and the NCAA Championships Committee.
He has been a force in fundraising and facility improvements at Tarleton, leading a $26 million renovation for Memorial Stadium. Recently, Texans’ Hall of Famer Mike A. Myers made a $2.4 million donation to the renovation project to name the stadium’s west side expansion the Lonn Reisman Athletic Center.
“It’s impossible to overstate Lonn Reisman’s impact on the university, the Lone Star Conference, the Stephenville community and D2 basketball,” said Rick Cooper, former coach at West Texas A&M and now the director of athletics at Wayland Baptist.
Before arriving at Tarleton, Reisman coached at Southeastern Oklahoma and is credited with discovering NBA rebounding legend Dennis Rodman, inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.