Metro Atlanta and basketball are two long-time passions that have been a big part of Willie Reese’s life, from his days as a player and assistant coach at Georgia Tech to his high school coaching career at Landmark Christian Academy, Jonesoboro and Sandy Creek.
Now, he takes over a Meadowcreek program that has had its share of success but faces the challenge of playing in one of the toughest regions in the state. The 48-year-old recently spoke with staff writer David Friedlander about those challenges, what he finds most rewarding about coaching on the high school level and even some of his favorite stories about Tech coaching legend Bobby Cremins, among other things
Coach Willie Reese – Head Boy’s Basketball Coach
As a Coach…
Coach Willie Reese is delighted and humbled about the opportunity at Meadowcreek High School and the potential of establishing Meadowcreek as a dominant basketball program in the state of Georgia. Coach Reese will focus on the development of young men in the following areas; leadership, character, and scholarship. He will encourage all student-athletes to do their best in class, on the court, and in the community.
Coach Reese is coming to Meadowcreek from Sandy Creek High School where he functioned as the Head Boys Basketball Coach. Over a span of three years, Reese’s teams qualified for the state tournament and in the 2013-14 season reached the Elite Eight, finished 23-9 as he was honored the 2014 Fayette County Coach of the Year. In the 2014-15 season, Reese had two student-athletes honored as AJC 2nd team all-state/ 1st team all-metro and honorable mention all-metro.
Prior to Coach Reese’s coaching stint at Sandy Creek, Reese spent six years as an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach and six years as the Director of Basketball Operations for the Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball program ranging from 1999-2011. He is the first basketball player in Georgia Tech history to be a member of an ACC championship team (1985) and a coach on Georgia Tech’s 2004 National Finalist Team. Coach Reese was responsible for recruiting five out of the top seven players on the 2004 National Finalist Team. As a GA Tech Assistant, Reese was instrumental in the development of Will Bynum (NBA), B.J. Elder (Pro in Italy), Marvin Lewis (Assoc. AD GA Tech), Ishmail Muhammad (All-ACC), Ed Nelson (ACC Rookie of the year), Chris Bosh (ACC Rookie of the Year/NBA) and center Luke Schenscher (All-Final Four Team/NBA). Throughout those 12 years, Reese worked for Coach Bobby Cremins and Coach Paul Hewitt.
Beginning in 1994, Coach Reese was selected as the second head coach in school history at Landmark Christian private school located in Fairburn, Georgia. Under Coach Reese’s direction, Landmark Christian improved from a 3-18 record during his first season, to a 24-3 record his second season as they won the region championship. Reese served five years as the head coach at Landmark Christian, compiling an 87-35 record and a .713 winning percentage. Two of Coach Reese’s players earned Division I scholarships, Greg Clark, who signed with Chattanooga, and Leigh Gayden, a member of the 1999 Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Terrific Ten” who signed with Tennessee Tech.
As a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket…
Coach Reese was recruited to the Tech program by Coach Bobby Cremins in 1984 and was redshirted during the Rambling Wreck’s 1984-1985 Atlantic Coast Conference championship season. He went on to earn four letters as a frontcourt reserve from the 1985-1986 through 1988-1989 seasons, helping the Jackets compile a four year record of 85-42 while earning four trips to the NCAA Tournament. During his career, Reese played with many of the prominent names in the Tech annals; Mark Price, John Salley, Bruce Dalrymple, Duane Ferrell, Tom Hammonds, Brian Oliver, and Dennis Scott.
Named the basketball team’s outstanding scholar-athlete his junior and senior years, Reese earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech in 1989. After graduation, he spent five years in private business before beginning his coaching career in 1994. Coach Reese attended Carver High School in Atlanta.
As a Husband/Father…
His wife of 25 years, Subrina Reese is a native of Atlanta Georgia, they have two children, son Willie Reese III( 25) , currently serving in the Navy, and daughter Jasmine Reese(22), graduate of Georgia Southern and beginning her first year of Law School at North Carolina Central University.