Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Longwood's Bill Reinson - so far, so good

Here are 25 things you might want to know about Bill Reinson, the new interim head women's basketball coach at Longwood.

1. He's the only undefeated head coach in Division I.

2. Reinson spent 10 years as a men's assistant coach - and 13 games as a women's assistant in 2003 - before landing his first head-coaching job on Dec. 6, 2010.

2. A few years ago, Reinson applied for the Lancers' women's basketball head-coaching job that ultimately went to Kristin Caruso.

3. Reinson doesn't mind if you ask about what led to Caruso's firing. He just can't offer much help. "The best part of it is I don't have to lie to anyone. I honestly don't know what happened."

4. He is 44 years old.

5. Reinson had two questions when Lancers AD Troy Austin asked him about the interim women's job - "Will I be considered for the full-time gig?", and "Will I still have a job at Longwood if I don't get it?"

6. When Austin answered "yes'' to both, Reinson accepted the offer.

7. If nothing else, the move should spike the Lancers' attendance - at least on weekends - as Reinson is the father of 25-year-old Megan, 6-year-old Mia and 8 others in between. "My wife (Lana) is both a saint and a warrior," Reinson said.

8. The coach was laughing when he said that. But he wasn't kidding.

9. Seven of Reinson's children are daughters.

10. At his first meeting with the players, Reinson told them he thought they were very talented, that he was very direct and that he wouldn't lie to them.

11. He added that he could be a bit sarcastic at times, so the players might want to put a couple of layers on any thin skin they may have.

12. Reinson also told them he was going to install a motion offense. "The only thing you can do wrong is stand around."

13. Reinson said he enjoys coaching women because "they don't all think they're going to the League. So there's less ego. They're more willing to listen."

14. He added that even if women may be more sensitive, that wouldn't be an issue for him. "I live with eight women, so the sensitive side I'm used to."

15. Assistant coaches Gayle Coats, Wanisha Smith and Becky Fernandes were instrumental in teaching Reinson's crash course on the players' tendencies and personalities.

16. Reinson accepted the job on Dec. 6. Three practices later, the under-new-management Lancers went to work on Saturday against Wright State.

17. For a guy working his first game as a head coach, Reinson said he felt surprisingly calm and relaxed. "You prepare for this thing your whole life, but it really didn't turn out to be a difficult as I thought."

18. Only out-of-bounds plays were a bit of an issue, as Reinson didn't know the Lancers' terminology. "I'd turn and go, Gayle, what's that one called?"

19. Although he got frustrated when forward Heather Tobeck failed to corral two rebounds, Reinson made sure to counsel Tobeck away from the rest of the team during a timeout.

20. Tobeck went on to make a key block and rebound late in the game.

21. The Lancers had lost six straight games when Reinson took over. In his first game, Longwood racked up their highest point total of the season in a 74-70 victory.

22. Reinson said the best thing about the post-game scene was seeing how much the victory meant to the players. "There was this tremendous sense of satisfaction. Just seeing the joy on their faces. You could tell it had been a long time."

23. Reinson told the players that he wasn't surprised, that this level of performance had been inside them all along.

24. He concluding by making one request - "Can I keep the game ball?"

25. The players burst out laughing. And Reinson has the ball.


  1. Bring it on Gino!!!!! You got nothing on Billy!!!!!

  2. oh and "way to go Paula, way to go!!!!"