Air Force Hires Assistant Reynolds

    
April 17th, 2007

USAFA, Colo. -- Jeff Reynolds, an assistant coach for the Air Force Academy men’s basketball team the past two years, has been named head coach of the Falcons, athletic director Dr. Hans Mueh announced Tuesday morning.

Reynolds, the seventh head coach in program history and the fourth in the last five years, signed a five-year contract. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. He succeeds Jeff Bzdelik, who resigned on April 3 to become head coach at the University of Colorado.

“Jeff Reynolds has a distinguished record as an assistant and head coach and has been honored at every level,” said Mueh. “He has had great success as a coach at eight different Division I and II programs before coming to Air Force at Coach Bzdelik’s request and was a key factor in Air Force’s success as his top assistant coach.”

During his two seasons as an assistant, Reynolds helped guide Air Force to its two most successful campaigns on the basketball court. In 2005-06, the Falcons were 24-7, the best record in program history, and played in the NCAA Tournament for just the fourth time ever. In ’06-07, Air Force posted a 26-9 record, setting a new school record for most victories in one season, and advanced to the semifinals of the NIT. Air Force was just one of 17 Division I teams to win at least 50 games the last two seasons.

“I want to thank the administration for thinking enough of me to allow me to direct this basketball program,” said Reynolds. “My job here is to sustain the success of the program and take it to the next level. Directing this basketball program is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Reynolds, 50, came to the Academy after serving as an assistant coach at Tulane for five seasons. Prior to his stint at Tulane, Reynolds served as the head coach at Division II Wingate University in Wingate, N.C.

He coached Wingate for three seasons, building the program into a Division II powerhouse. In 1999-2000, his team led the nation in scoring defense and posted an impressive 26-4 record, closing the year with a final national ranking of No. 7 and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs also won their second-consecutive South Atlantic Conference title and established the longest home-court winning streak at the Division II level (26 games).

In 1998-99, Reynolds guided Wingate to its first NCAA Tournament bid, as well as its first national ranking, and the Bulldogs closed that season with a 23-6 mark as Reynolds earned South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year honors.

As the top assistant coach at his alma mater, UNC-Greensboro, from 1995-97, Reynolds helped the program to the 1996 Big South Championship and a bid to the 1996 NCAA Tournament. Prior to that, he served for four years as the top assistant at UNC-Wilmington, helping the Seahawks to Colonial Athletic Association Most Improved Team honors in 1992.

Reynolds began his coaching career at James Madison University in 1981, serving as a part-time assistant for a team which won 24 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1982. He went on to Division II power Randolph-Macon College, which reeled off three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and earned a No. 4 national ranking in the final poll of 1984.

He logged one year as the head coach of North Carolina Wesleyan College in 1985-86, leading the program to a 21-7 mark and the Dixie Conference Championship, before moving on to Winthrop College for four years. At Winthrop, he was directly involved in the team's transition from Division II to Division I, and, in 1988, the school captured the Big South Conference Championship.