Coach Reid Announces Retirement

March 08, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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Coach Roger Reid announced his retirement as men's basketball coach at SUU
Coach Roger Reid announced his retirement as men's basketball coach at SUU
Courtesy: SUU Strategic Communications

CEDAR CITY, March 8 – Roger Reid, who has spent the last five seasons as Southern Utah University's men's basketball coach, announced his retirement today. A 39-year veteran of the coaching ranks, Coach Reid came to Southern Utah in the spring of 2007.

Coach Reid's career has spanned virtually every level of the coaching strata, including high school, junior college, and NCAA Division I competition as well as the NBA and international ranks. He is probably best known for his success at Brigham Young University, where he led the Cougars to five NCAA tournament berths and three Western Athletic Conference championships. He has also coached the Phoenix Suns of the NBA and the Hangzhou Horses of the Chinese Basketball Association. Prior to taking the reins at SUU, Reid spent two season at Snow College, where he led the Badgers to a conference title and a No. 18 national ranking in his final season on the bench there.

Reid retires with an overall record of 206-173, including a 54-97 mark in his five seasons at SUU.

"Coach Reid is a dear friend and I will always admire and appreciate his work ethic and commitment to the young men he has coached," stated SUU President Michael Benson.  "To win over 200 Division One games is a notable accomplishment but even more important are the lessons he has taught and the values he has instilled in the young men he has coached for nearly four decades."

"Coach Reid is an iconic figure in the world of coaching and his name is synonymous with basketball in the state of Utah," noted SUU Board of Trustees Chair Gayle Pollock.  "Over the past 38 years his passion for the game and tireless work ethic have earned him the respect and admiration of his peers.  We collectively wish Coach Reed and his dear wife Diane the best in their future endeavors."

This season Coach Reid has had his most success since taking over the Thunderbird program, guiding the team to a 12-12 overall record, including a 7-7 mark in Summit League games. The team performed particularly well in conference road games this season, winning four of its first six Summit League contests away from home before finishing with a 4-5 Summit road record. 

"I will miss this great group of young men," Coach 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.

"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."

In 2010-11, with a team made up largely of sophomores and newcomers, Coach Reid led the Thunderbirds to an 11-19 record and a spot in The Summit League tournament. The team struggled early but finished strong, winning four of its last six games, including road wins at IUPUI and Western Illinois, down the stretch heading into the tournament. The only losses during the stretch came at the hands of Summit League regular-season and tournament champion Oakland and regular-season and tournament runner-up Oral Roberts.

In 2010 Coach Reid worked with a very young team that featured seven freshmen, six of whom played significant minutes. With just one senior starter the team took its lumps but the team still had its share of highlights, including an overtime win against defending Summit League regular-season and tournament champion North Dakota State and a season-finale win over Centenary that saw senior Davis Baker conclude his career as one of SUU's all-time leading scorers.

In 2009 Coach Reid guided the team to its first Summit League post-season win since 2003 as the T-Birds upset fourth-seed IUPUI in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament. SUU also gave eventual tournament champ North Dakota State all it wanted in the semi-finals before bowing out of the tournament. During the season SUU was one of just two league teams to beat NDSU, and the only one to do it in Fargo, N.D. SUU posted an 11-20 overall record in 2009, including an 8-10 mark in conference play, good for a fifth-place finish.

The most notable accomplishment for Coach Reid's Thunderbirds in 2008-09, however, was a national free throw shooting championship as SUU led all of Division I with its 79.6 percent accuracy rate.

In his first year at SUU, Coach Reid led the team to a 9-9 record and a fifth-place finish in The Summit League, despite taking over a team that returned just four lettermen from the previous season. The season started slowly for SUU, but as the team came together the wins came too. The Thunderbirds led the league in assists and were among the league-leaders in most major statistical categories in league games in 07-08. Senior forward Geoff Payne earned first-team all-Summit League recognition and was named the conference's Newcomer of the Year.

Reid's teams have performed academically as well, as he has had players earn spots on the Summit League Commissioner's List of Excellence each season, including and four who have also been named to the NABC's Honors Court for their work in the classroom.

Coach Reid spent seven seasons coaching in the professional ranks, including five as an assistant for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (helping the Suns to a pair of NBA playoff appearances), and two as head coach of the Hangzhou Horses in the Chinese Basketball Association, China's professional league.

While at Brigham Young he guided the Cougars to a 152-76 record and three Western Athletic Conference championships during his seven full seasons at the program's helm. Under Reid's watch the Cougars earned five NCAA tournament berths as well as one in the post-season NIT. Reid was named WAC and district coach of the year twice and his career winning percentage of .667 is the second-highest of any basketball coach in the school's NCAA-era history. Reid also spent 11 seasons as an assistant at BYU, working under both Frank Arnold and Ladell Anderson.

A graduate of Weber State University, where he lettered in both basketball and baseball, Coach Reid's first head coaching job was at Payson High School and he also coached at Utah's Clearfield High. He is also a graduate of the College of Eastern Utah, where he earned all-American honors in baseball and is enshrined in the school's athletic hall of fame.

"I am humbled for the opportunities I have had here," Reid went on to say. "As I start to reflect on my coaching career, the many great wins and moments that I have enjoyed start coming into sharp focus.  But what most people will never see, and what I have enjoyed the most, is the thousands of hours spent studying and teaching the game and preparing young men to be the best players and students that they can be.  I believe those intimate experiences on the basketball floor have been the most meaningful to me."

Reid and his wife Diane are the parents of five children and they have 11 grandchildren.