KANSAS CITY, Mo. (1-10-17) -- Two respected coaches/administrators from Texas have been selected to receive 2018 Guardians of the Game Awards presented by TallOrder.com from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Bill Raleigh, former coach at Southwestern University and recently named director of athletics at Schreiner University, is being honored for advocacy.
Tarleton State University head coach and director of athletics Lonn Reisman will receive the award for leadership. Both awards will be presented at the 2018 AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show on Sunday, April 1, at the Lila Cockrell Theater in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Raleigh, the former head basketball coach at Southwestern University, who was recently named the director of athletics at Schreiner University, has been a staunch advocate for college basketball, the coaching profession and the NABC throughout his career.
"Bill Raleigh's involvement in NCAA Division III and the NABC has been selfless and he epitomizes what this award stands for," said Charlie Brock, head coach at Springfield College and first vice president of the NABC.
A current member of the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee, Raleigh has also served as a congressman for the NABC in Division III, a member of the NABC Division III All-America Committee and has played an integral role with the Division III All-Star Game Committee since its inception.
"For the all-star games, Bill took on the toughest role of administering the travel arrangements to get 20 players from all over the country to come together at the Division III championship," said Brock. "Even though he is no longer coaching, he has continued to keep his hand in as an administrator and maintains his passion for the game."
Raleigh, a graduate of Muhlenberg College and the Seton Hall University of School of Law, has spent his entire coaching career at NCAA Division III schools. He served as an assistant coach at Washington & Lee University and Randolph-Macon College before taking his first head coaching position at the University of Dallas in 1996.
"Bill's coaching and life philosophy are in tune with the Division III philosophy. He is a true competitor but life issues are most important to him," said Pat Cunningham, a member of the NABC board of directors and head coach at Trinity University.
He remained in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference when he accepted the head coaching position at Southwestern University in 1999. A two-time SCAC Coach of the Year in 15 seasons with the Pirates, his teams had a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher for 14 consecutive semesters. All but one of the four-year letter winners in men's basketball graduated while Raleigh was head coach.
Raleigh retired from coaching in 2014 and continued his role at Southwestern as assistant director of athletics and chair of the Exercise and Sports Studies and Fitness and Recreational Activities programs. He was named director of athletics at Schreiner in August, 2017.
The best way to describe Lonn Reisman, director of athletics and head basketball coach at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, is that he's a "mover and shaker".
He does what it takes to get the job done and done right.
Reisman, now in 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.
NABC Contact: Rick Leddy, Senior Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org/203-815-2437
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.