Head Coach Lonn Reisman
Head Men's Basketball Coach
The Texans have had the same leader since 1988, and the program is known as one of the most consistent and winning programs in the nation.
Lonn Reisman is in his 30th season as head coach of the men’s basketball program when the 2017-18 year begins.
Reisman's 635 career wins makes the veteran head coach the winningest active NCAA head coach in the state of Texas at any level. Reisman is the sixth active NCAA Division II head coach with 600 career wins and the 15th Division II coach all time to reach the milestone.
Reisman has served on the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee and completed serving his fourth year as the South Central Region Committee Chairman in 2008-09 after serving two years on the regional selection committee. He was then named to the NCAA Championships Committee in September of 2012.
As basketball coach, Reisman has positioned the Texans as a national power, leading Tarleton to a 313-97 record over the past 13 seasons, including a school-record 31 wins in 2014-15. Over the last decade, he has posted a winning percentage of .766 while winning 20 games in a season on nine different occasions, including eight straight years, and the school’s first-ever 30-win season in 2014-15 en route to a national semifinal appearance.
In 2016-17, Tarleton recorded its eighth straight 20-win season, going 22-8 overall and 13-5 in the Lone Star Conference. The Texans were ranked as high as No. 9 in the NABC poll after a 13-1 start that included a 32-point road win over then unbeaten Angelo State. The Texans had a pair of nationally televised games on ESPN and American Sports Network. Reisman led the Texans to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time and the eighth straight season.
In 2015-16, Tarleton was the No. 1-ranked team in the country in the first NABC poll of the season. Reisman won his 600th career game on Jan. 2 with a 71-61 win over Cameron in Wisdom Gym. Reisman led Tarleton to another 20-win campaign and to the school's 13th NCAA Regional Tournament appearance -- the seventh straight -- as the No. 4 seed in the tournament. Tarleton won its fourth South Central Regional Championship with a 77-72 win over Angelo State to advance to the Elite Eight for the second year in a row. The four regional championships are a Lone Star Conference record.
Tarleton State made its run to the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2014-15 after winning the Lone Star Conference regular season championship and South Central Regional Championship, which came in front of a capacity crowd in Wisdom Gym with a 66-64 win over Angelo State. The Texans went on to defeat Mount Olive in the Elite Eight to advance to the Final Four for the second time - making Tarleton the first team from the state of Texas to qualify for multiple Division II Final Four games.
In 2013-14, Tarleton got off to its best start in school history under Reisman – and the best start in school history since becoming a senior college in 1966. The veteran coach led his Texans to an 18-0 record to begin the campaign, which propelled Tarleton into the driver’s seat for the fourth Lone Star Conference Championship in school history and a No. 1 seed in the postseason conference tournament.
Reisman led his team to three straight wins in the LSC Championship Tournament to secure the second consecutive tournament championship and an automatic berth into the 11th South Central Regional Tournament in school history, where Tarleton advanced to the regional semifinals. They also finished the season as the national leaders in scoring margin by winning games by more than 20 points per game.
For his coaching efforts in 2013-14, Reisman earned much recognition at the national level. The Tarleton coach was named the Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his illustrious career as well as racking up NCAA South Central Region Coach of the Year honors and being named a finalist for the Clarence "Big House" Gaines National Coach of the Year.
In the 2012-13 campaign, Reisman was tasked with replacing a strong senior class from the year before with a younger, less experienced team and did not disappoint. Despite going 10-8 in Lone Star Conference play, the Texans picked up key wins down the stretch when it mattered - including three straight wins as the No. 3 seed to capture his second LSC Tournament title and first since 2004 for the LSC’s automatic bid into the regional tournament and finished the season 20-10 overall to give Reisman the 14th 20-win season of his career.
The 2011-12 squad ended up finishing 27-6 and making a return trip to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional tournament. Tarleton went 15-3 in the Lone Star Conference, winning its first LSC Championship since 2004. The Texans then went on the way to becoming runners-up in the LSC Championship Tournament before making another South Central Region run as the No. 2 seed in the tournament. The Texans led the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 56.3 points per game.
In 2010-11, Tarleton finished first in the LSC South and made the program’s 10th straight Lone Star Conference tournament. They also led the nation in defense at not only the Division II level, but also in Divisions I, III and JUCO levels.
Just one year after missing the regional tournament for the first time in five years, Reisman made sure that would not happen again as the 2007-08 team, not only qualified for the regional tournament, but hosted the NCAA Division II South Central Regional for the third time in six years. The Texans finished 25-7, losing in the regional title game.
Reisman put Tarleton State on the national map from 2004-06 when the coach led the Texans to the Elite Eight in back-to-back seasons.
Tarleton qualified for its first-ever Elite Eight in Grand Forks, North Dakota after winning the first NCAA Regional Championship in the 2004-05 season and repeated as regional champions in 2005-06 for an Elite Eight experience in Springfield, Massachusetts. In those two ‘Elite’ seasons, Tarleton State posted a combined record of 52-16 with a Lone Star Conference South Division title.
The transition from NAIA contender to NCAA powerhouse finally came to fruition under Reisman’s guidance in the 2001-02 season when Tarleton recorded its first 20-win season as an NCAA school.
From there, Tarleton went on to go 29-4 the next season en route to a LSC North Division Championship and a No. 1 regional ranking to host the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament in Wisdom Gym for the first time in 2002-03, when they advanced to the school’s first-ever Sweet 16 appearance. The next season, Reisman repeated as the regional host following another LSC North Division title and the school’s first LSC Tournament Championship.
Reisman, who has seen six players earn All-America accolades since 2002, has directed the Texans to a 635-250 record over the past 29 seasons including an NCAA record of 501-196 in the last 22 years that Tarleton has been a Division II institution.
He came to Tarleton having already proven himself as a winner, being credited for discovering NBA great Dennis Rodman and doubling the wins for his previous school’s basketball program after just one season at the helm. Reisman coached Rodman, a 2011 inductee to the National Basketball Association Hall of Fame, during his time at Southeastern Oklahoma and Rodman credited Reisman during his NBA Hall of Fame induction speech by thanking Reisman first in his enshrinement speech.
It came as no surprise that Reisman quickly brought success to the Tarleton basketball program. In 1988, Reisman took over one of the nation’s worst basketball programs, one that had gone 3-25 the year before and had just one winning season in the previous 26 years.
With Reisman preaching the values of discipline, hard work and family, the Texans turned the program into one of national respect. Reisman’s teams, known for their hard-nosed defense, won three straight Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles before exiting from that league and becoming an NCAA institution in 1994.
The Texans won 26 games in three consecutive years, the NAIA District 8 title in 1992 and 1993 and the NAIA Southwest Regional title in 1994. After making it to the district finals in 1990 and 1991, Tarleton made three consecutive NAIA Division II National Tournament appearances in 1992, 1993, and 1994.
Reisman has an impressive 405-66 home court record in Wisdom Gym, including undefeated home seasons in 2005-06 and 2010-11, which has helped to double the attendance figures from earlier years. Reisman also has an all-time record of 213-103 against LSC teams.
Since adding scholarships in 1994, Reisman has led the Texans to 21 winning seasons and 19 LSC tournament appearances, including nine trips to the conference championship game to go along with his 14 trips to the NCAA Regional Tournament, four Elite Eights, and two Final Fours. Reisman, who has coached 15 All-America selections and 22 first-team all-LSC picks while at Tarleton, came here with 13 years of coaching experience ranging from high school to NCAA Division I level.
Originally from Cuba, New York, Reisman was an all-around athlete in high school at Florida Air Academy in Melbourne. He lettered in baseball, tennis, football and basketball and was High School All-America in football and basketball.
After playing basketball and tennis at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, Reisman earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Pittsburg State (Kan.) University in 1977. He was a graduate assistant at NCAA Division I Arkansas State University in 1978-79. Reisman landed his first head-coaching job at Trumann High School in Arkansas from 1979-81. He earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Arkansas State in 1981.
Reisman moved into the collegiate scene in 1981 when he was named an assistant coach at Southeastern Oklahoma State, where he stayed until 1987. During his stint there, the team, which featured Rodman, made consecutive trips to the NAIA national tournament, finishing third in 1986.
After Southeastern Oklahoma State, Reisman accepted his first collegiate head-coaching position at Connors Junior College where he revitalized the program in just one season. In his only season at Connors, he took a 10-win team from the previous season to the semifinals of the state junior college tournament with 21 wins in the 1987-88 season.
Reisman has racked up 13 total Coach of the Year honors, including five LSC Coach of the Year, two NABC South Central Coach of the Year, three TABC Small College Coach of the Year, as well as being named a finalist for the NABC National Coach of the Year in 2013-14. He has nine Coach of the Year awards in Tarleton’s NCAA era and three coaching honors during the Texans’ NAIA tenure – twice being named the NAIA District 8 Coach of the Year and the NAIA Southwest Region Coach of the Year in 1994.
He also has two NAIA Coach of the Year awards from his early Tarleton career. He has coached four Lone Star Conference Players of the Year, seven LSC Defensive Players of the Year, four LSC Freshmen of the Year and three LSC Newcomers of the Year.
Reisman resides in Stephenville with his wife, Misti.