Reese hopes to maintain legacy
New Tiger head baseball coach has long history with program
After Steve Reese stepped down as the head coach of Marshall County High School's baseball team, MCHS' administration handed the reins of the program over to a loyal member of the Tiger family when they promoted longtime assistant coach Mike Reese to the top spot earlier this summer.
Although he did not begin teaching at Marshall County High School and was not officially named an assistant coach at MCHS until 1988, Mike Reese has been associated with the Tigers' baseball program since 1981.
During that time, Marshall County's program has experienced a tremendous amount of success on the baseball diamond and captured numerous District and Region championships while winning three Class AAA State titles.
"I want to carry on the tradition of Tiger baseball because I've been a part of the program all my life. I'm very humbled and very honored to be the next Tiger baseball coach," said Reese. "I hope there will be some stability with me taking over and think we have a great tradition and a great program. I want to keep that going. I've lived here all my life and I feel like I owe Marshall County. The community has been very supportive and I want to pay them back."
A 1976 graduate of MCHS, Reese was a standout on Marshall County's baseball team during his prep career and started all four years for the Tigers as a pitcher and first baseman. During Reese's senior season, he was named team captain and team MVP while also being selected to the Tennessean's Large School All-Midstate Team.
Reese then signed a scholarship to play at Motlow State Community College where he was tutored by former Marshall County coach Jackie Reavis, who coached the Bucks from 1974-82 and compiled a stellar 261-107 record.
At Motlow State, Reese started both years at first base and helped lead the Bucks to the Tennessee State Junior College tournament finals twice where they lost to Columbia State each time.
Three of five
"There have been only five coaches in the history of Marshall County's baseball program and I played for three of them," said Mike Reese. "I played for Steve (Reese) in Babe Ruth and he was a role model for me as a player. When I got to high school Coach (Joe) George was in his second year as the coach there. I also played for coach Reavis at Motlow and a lot of the things that I do as a coach come from him. He was a very demanding coach and was very big on fundamentals. I've been fortunate to have been around some good coaches in my career."
After using up his eligibility at Motlow State, Reese attended UT-Martin where he started for two years and helped his team finish with a winning record both seasons.
Upon graduating from UT-Martin, he became the head coach of the Marshall County Dusters in 1981, which is the summer team for MCHS' baseball program, after serving as an assistant the previous two years.
Reese also began his teaching career at Cornersville High School in the Fall of 1981 and spent the next four years as the Bulldogs' boys basketball coach and the defensive coordinator on the football team while also assisting George and the Tiger baseball program during the Spring.
"Coach George was another big influence in my career because he taught me how to deal with people and players. He was never afraid to learn new things and try them. He wasn't as fiery coach Reavis, but he always got his point across," said Reese.
Reese then taught the next three years at Connelly Middle School where he served as assistant coach on both the football and basketball teams while still maintaining his duties in the MCHS baseball program.
In 1988, Reese returned to his alma mater and officially became an assistant coach on the Tigers baseball team. He was also the head coach of the boys basketball team his first four years at Marshall County High School and worked on the football coaching staff as an assistant for a total 14 years (1988-99 and 2005-06).
During the 1988-89 basketball season, Reese captured the program's first ever Region tournament title and narrowly missed advancing to the State tournament after suffering a close loss to David Lipscomb in the Sub State.
Based on Reese's credentials and lengthy coaching resume, Tiger baseball appears to be in excellent hands.