Tarleton’s Reisman named 2018 Guardian of the Game for leadership


Newly retired Tarleton Texan basketball coach Lonn Reisman isn’t done winning as evidenced by his being named a 2018 Guardians of the Game Award winner presented by TallOrder.com from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) last night in San Antonio.

Tarleton State University head coach and director of athletics Lonn Reisman received the award for leadership. Bill Raleigh, former coach at Southwestern University and recently named director of athletics at Schreiner University, was honored for advocacy. Both awards were presented at the last night during the 2018 AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show, at the Lila Cockrell Theater in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

“This is a great honor from the NABC and one I’m truly humbled to receive,” said Reisman. “The leadership award means so much to me and to Tarleton State University. Leadership is one of Tarleton’s six core values and it’s something I take great pride in with exemplifying leadership to our student-athletes every day. I’d like to thank the NABC for this tremendous award.”

The best way to describe Lonn Reisman is that he’s a “mover and shaker”.

He does what it takes to get the job done and done right.

Reisman, who retired earlier this month after his 30th season at Tarleton State, 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 moving on to NCAA Division II 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 stadium renovation project in order to name the new facility 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 DII basketball,” said Rick Cooper, former coach at West Texas A&M and now the director of athletics at Wayland Baptist.

One more thing to know about Reisman.  Before arriving at Tarleton, he 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.

About the National Association of Basketball Coaches
Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Forrest “Phog” Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas.  Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game.  The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men’s basketball coaches.  All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today’s student-athletes.  The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education.  Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at www.nabc.org.

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