Reisman enters 2023 as second-longest tenured AD in FCS, third-longest in Division I

Photo by Jeremy Enlow

STEPHENVILLE – Following a report by CollegeAD, Lonn Reisman enters this upcoming calendar year as the third-longest tenured athletic director of all schools at the Division I level and the second-longest at an FCS institution.

Only Wagner’s Walt Hameline (1982) tops Reisman (1993) on the FCS AD list, while D1-AAA Siena’s AD John D’Argenio (1993) comes in just ahead for the overall ranking.

“What an incredible 30 years it has been,” said Reisman. “The growth of Tarleton State University is unlike anything I have ever seen in college athletics. The support of our fans, faculty, students, and community has been tremendous. I am so proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish together over the last 30 years at Tarleton.”

Under Reisman’s direction, Tarleton has successfully navigated into the third year of NCAA reclassification. Tarleton has flourished academically with record-setting single year APR scores, which are the best of any first and second year reclassifying schools since 2011. On the field, Tarleton has quickly found Division I success in several sports, including three straight winning football seasons, a postseason invitation for the softball program, and a WAC regular season championship in tennis.

Reisman led Tarleton out of the NAIA ranks, through NCAA Division II from 1994-2020 and has since seen Tarleton elevate to the highest level – NCAA Division I. During their reign in Division II, Tarleton was ranked in the national top 25 polls and qualified for the NCAA national playoffs in every sport along the way, including Final Four finishes in men’s basketball and women’s golf.  In the spring of 2022 in just its second year of NCAA Division I competition, Reisman saw the athletics department claim its first conference championship (women’s tennis) and first national postseason bid and victory (softball).

In addition to Tarleton’s playing success, Reisman is responsible for the fundraising success by establishing the Texan Club. Since its inception in the early 1990’s, the Texan Club has grown into one of the largest booster clubs in NCAA Division II. The Texan Club has previously been recognized as a successful organization in the National Association of College Directors of Athletics publication for its fundraising efforts and success.

“Our booster club is the driving force behind our success. There is no doubt we would not be where we are today without the Texan Club,” Reisman said. “We raise a lot of money. We raise enough to fulfill 10 full scholarships and the rest of the money goes for student-athlete enhancement through study hall tutors and monitors as well as supporting the programs. We definitely would not be as successful if we didn’t have the support of the Texan Club corporate sponsors and individual members.”

In addition to his efforts as athletic director, Reisman also enjoyed a storied career as the head men’s basketball coach for 30 seasons.

Reisman retired from the sidelines after three decades of excellence in coaching. Reisman has 691 career wins — 654 of them at Tarleton — which is the most wins by anyone in Tarleton history and the most wins of any active head coach in the state of Texas at any NCAA level. He’s one of 14 coaches at the Division I and II levels combined with more than 650 career wins and ranks within the top 15 in the country in winning percentage by a Division II head coach. His other 37 wins came in three seasons as the head coach of Connors Junior College and Trumann High School (Ark.).

In 2018, Reisman received one of the highest honors a coach can receive from the NABC. He was named the recipient of the Guardians of the Game Award for Leadership and was recognized at the 2018 NCAA Division I Final Four in San Antonio. He is a 13-time coach of the year recipient too. He won back-to-back TIAA District 8 Coach of the Year awards in his first two years at Tarleton. Reisman has won five LSC Coach of the Year honors, including three awards in 2004 with the TABC Small College Coach of the Year and NABC Regional Coach of the Year to go with the LSC award. In 2014, Reisman received the NCAA Regional Coach of the Year award and was a finalist for the Clarence “Big House” Gaines National Coach of the Year. He’s a three-time National Coach of the Week winner.

For his coaching contributions to the purple and white, Reisman was inducted into the Tarleton Athletics Hall of Fame as the lone inductee of the class of 2019.

Reisman is the longest tenured Athletic Director in school history, topping W.J. Wisdom’s 20-year career at the helm of Tarleton sports.

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