After 11 years of waiting, Roger Reid was named BYU's head basketball coach in a Monday
morning press conference.Reid thanked his parents, the school, and his predecessors, Frank Arnold and Ladell Andersen, for directing him toward fulfilling a lifelong goal.
"I never wanted to be a doctor, I never wanted to be a baker, I wanted to be a basketball coach - the basketball coach at BYU," said Reid. "I never wanted to be the coach at UCLA or North Carolina. BYU is the only place I ever wanted to be at."
Reid spent more than a decade as an assistant at BYU. When Frank Arnold was fired six years ago, Reid was a finalist for the job that was given to Andersen.
Reid's appointment came just three days after Andersen resigned. Reid, who had been widely rumored to be the heir apparent, was put on hold while BYU began to look around for Andersen's successor last Friday. "Those 11 years have gone quickly, but at times they've been long," said Reid. "Last weekend seemed like an eternity."
Athletic director Glen Tuckett said the search was a short one. "We made a very few contacts - in fact only one call, and that was exploratory in nature," said Tuckett.
Reid met with BYU administrators Friday afternoon, but said afterward that he had no indication of what would happen. He said he was kept in the dark on the matter for three days, not sleeping at nights and spending the days trying to stay away from phone calls. "I wasn't scared they'd name another coach," he said. "I was frightened to death. To have them mention that the job was still open and not be named was, well, to be quite honest, I was very, very worried."
The call from faculty rep Dr. Clayne Jensen came Monday morning at 8:30.
"When I heard those sweet words, I can't express the elation and joy I felt," said Reid. "My wife and I were jumping up and down with happiness."
Reid was a standout athlete in baseball and basketball at Springville High before enrolling at BYU. He later transferred to College of Eastern Utah and then Weber State, where he played basketball for Dick Motta. After college he spent four years in minor league baseball with the Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox, advancing as far as the Triple-A level.
In 1971 Reid began his coaching career, building a 50-26 mark in three seasons at Payson High. He moved to Clearfield High in 1974, where his teams comiled a 60-24 record.
Reid has steadfastly said his goal was to become head coach at BYU. Over the years his name has been linked to several jobs. The most publicized offer came last spring when he was offered an assistant's position at UCLA under newly named coach Jim Harrick.
"Roger is an energetic, ambitious, dedicated young man who has prepared all his life for this opportunity," said athletic director Glen Tuckett. "Roger has the unanimous 100 percent support of all those included at BYU.
"We know that in the person of Roger Reid, we have the right man for BYU basketball. We think this is a significant day in BYU athletics."
Reid, 41, said he has "many people in mind" for possible assistant coaches, but would not specify. He did say that his colleague on the BYU staff, Carl Ingersoll, was "definitely a consideration."
Reid said the first area of concern is recruiting, where he will attempt to get help for the front line. BYU graduated all-WAC center Michael Smith this year and is looking for some quick help from the junior colleges.
"We have some very fine players coming back. We also have some serious needs," said Reid. "To win and continue to be successful we need great front-line players. Experienced front-line players is what we immediately need."
Reid said he coaches multiple offensive and defensive schemes, but that he plans to continue BYU's tradition of up-tempo basketball.
He stressed, however, that the main objective was to win. "I've seen a lot of fast-break teams that don't win," he said. "But the kind of basketball that we've had will continue, and we will continue to have the kind of basketball that BYU fans love."