Southern Utah University men's basketball coach Roger Reid calling it a career

Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 8 2012 6:29 p.m. MST

CEDAR CITY — After almost forty years of coaching basketball, coach Roger Reid has announced his retirement as head men's basketball coach at Southern Utah University. With eleven squad members returning next year, including all-league selection Jackson Stevenett and two more players with starting experience, Reid leaves behind a Thunderbird program poised for success in the Big Sky, which SUU will join for the 2012-13 season.

"I will miss this great group of young men," Reid said. "I have coached so many fine players in my career, and this group ranks up there with the best of them. They have worked their tails off on the floor, they have performed in the classroom, and they will certainly make noise in the Big Sky. This program is in great shape and this team can win a lot of games."

Picked to take ninth by several publications, the Thunderbirds finished this season 14-17, including an 8-10 conference record, which was good for sixth place in the highest-ranked Summit League season in the conference's history. The Thunderbirds went 1-1 in the Summit League tournament, ousting two-time defending champion Oakland in the quarterfinal round before seeing their season end at the hands of eventual champion South Dakota State in the semifinals. The Summit League was one of the best mid-major conferences in the country this year, with a final regular-season RPI of 15, just behind the WCC, WAC, Ivy, and Colonial leagues.

"Our kids played their hearts out this season in easily the most competitive league the school has ever played in," Reid noted. "With the difficult travel and level of competition, it was a monster challenge and I am very proud of what they accomplished."

Adding another milestone to his impressive resume, Reid earned his 200th career NCAA Division I win as a head coach during the 2011-12 campaign. He retires with an overall Division I record of 205-173, including a 54-97 record at SUU.

Unlike any other coach so rooted in the history and fabric of Utah basketball, Reid's basketball success has spanned virtually every level of the game. As a head coach alone, Reid's teams have won over 400 games.

"Well, I believe that I have coached in over 1,100 games, and I have been on the winning side in over 700 of them," he pointed out. "As I look back, my teams have won games in just about every gym in the state of Utah, not to mention hundreds of gyms around this country. Not many coaches are fortunate enough to have that level of sustained success.

"Put simply, it has always been a privilege for me to coach this splendid sport. My time at Southern Utah has likewise been a blessing, and, as always, it was due to the caliber of young men that I coached and the fine coaches that I worked with."

A three-sport standout from Springville High School, Reid excelled as a collegiate athlete. He was named an All-American in baseball at the College of Eastern Utah and he has since been inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. At Weber State University, Reid was a two-time all conference shortstop and, as a member of the 1968 Big Sky championship basketball team, he helped coach Dick Motta's Wildcats earn the school's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. After graduation from WSU, Reid spent the next four years as a shortstop with the Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves organizations.

Reid's coaching career began at Payson High School, where he guided the basketball team to a state championship appearance in his first year and a 50-26 record in three seasons. From there, Reid led the Clearfield High School program to a 60-24 record in four seasons before being hired as an assistant coach at Brigham Young University.

After 11 years as an assistant coach, which included over 200 wins and six NCAA Tournament appearances, Reid is probably best known for his success as head coach at BYU. While at BYU, he guided the Cougars to a 152-76 record, and three WAC tournament championships during his seven full seasons at the program's helm. Under Reid, the Cougars earned five NCAA Tournament berths as well as an NIT appearance. In 1990 and again in 1992 Reid was named WAC and District Coach of the Year.

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