Winning Isn’t Everything
The true essence of college athletics and coaching is sometimes lost in the numbers, with wins and losses overshadowing what coaches really do for student-athletes.
On January 26, in front of the home crowd at O.W. Houts Gymnasium and behind a dominating 63–43 conference victory over Goucher College, Jim Reed, head women’s basketball coach, collected his 200th career triumph. His 200 wins span 18 years of head coaching at Wilkes University (2001–05) and at Susquehanna, where 173 of those victories were produced.
Though Reed realizes that 200 is a landmark number, the milestone does not mean a great deal to him. College basketball, from his perspective, is about “... teaching kids, teaching student-athletes, giving them direction, showing them how to play, being a mentor, having a good culture ....”
A 1985 graduate of Bucknell University, Reed has been coaching basketball for 30 years, with 27 of those at the collegiate level. He has been the head coach of the Susquehanna women’s basketball program for the past 14 seasons. During his tenure, Reed has mentored 18 all-conference players, including 16 All-Landmark Conference selections. He and his coaching staff were voted the Landmark Coaching Staff of the Year in both 2008–09 and 2014 –15.
In a past life at Susquehanna, Reed served as the head women’s golf coach (2005–12) as well as the head women’s tennis coach (1993–94).
For Reed, it’s not about the wins and losses. “It’s about the student-athletes and what they are able to accomplish.” He looks at it as a process—if you’re able to do the right things day in and day out, you’ll eventually be able to play well, and if you’re playing well, “wins and losses take care of themselves,” he says.