Goldsboro's Reynell moving on
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 29, 2012 1:52 AM
Leave the program better than you found it.
Of the many accomplishments Patrick Reynell accumulated during his three-year tenure as head boys' basketball coach at Goldsboro High School, perhaps none rank higher than his ability to keep the prestigious program moving forward.
After guiding the Cougars to an appearance in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A state finals and two Carolina 1-A Conference regular-season championships in three seasons, Reynell is moving on. He informed administrators and his players at Goldsboro this week that he has accepted an offer to become the boys' basketball coach at Fairless High School in Navarre, Ohio.
"It will be very difficult to replace Coach Reynell," Goldsboro co-athletic director Eric Reid said. "Not only is he a wonderful teacher and a wonderful coach but he is also a wonderful person."
Reid expects the job opening to be posted online Monday.
A native of Rochester (N.Y.), Reynell described the decision as strictly a "family one," in an effort by he and his wife Carrie to move their two young daughters closer to family in both Ohio and New York. Reynell's interview process with administrators at Fairless materialized in about 10 days and he informed the staff at Goldsboro on Tuesday of his decision. He met with his players on Thursday.
"No matter what anybody is saying out there this decision was made for Madalyn and Cassidy, my two daughters," Reynell said. "It's a chance for them to see their grandparents and their cousins more. This is a precious time for them. When it came down to it, it was just a family decision. Telling my players I'm leaving was very emotional and the hardest thing I've ever had to do."
Reynell served as an assistant coach at Charles B. Aycock from 2004-09 for former Golden Falcons' head coach David West. He replaced Chris Cherry at Goldsboro in September of 2009. In his first season as a head coach, Reynell led Goldsboro to a 23-8 record, the Carolina 1-A Conference regular season and tournament titles and a trip to the 1-A state finals. Reynell compiled a 54-28 record in his three seasons with the Cougars and Goldsboro reached the state playoffs each season.
"That state championship team will always have a special place in my heart," Reynell said. "If you're a basketball coach (in North Carolina) where else would you want to be? It's hard to compare Goldsboro with anybody. This is a program with its wheels under it and its up to somebody to come in here and make them spin the right way."
Praised at length by former and current players, Reynell stressed the importance of academics and implemented a team GPA by averaging together the grade point averages of his players. Despite being the program's third head coach in three years when he was hired, Reynell established a trust with his players by showing genuine concern in not just basketball, but in their lives. He worked tirelessly to encourage his players to further their education and went to great lengths to help get them in college.
"The trust came from his honesty," senior guard Moses Ramsey said. "Whatever he said he stuck with it and whatever he believed in he went with it at all times. He taught us not to second-guess and he told us whatever we did to go hard at it. He's one of the best coaches I've ever had."
Every inch of the whiteboard inside Reynell's office in Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium was often filled with basketball plays and his attention to detail was meticulous. Once responsible for the defense during his time as assistant at C.B. Aycock, Reynell never asked for more from his players at Goldsboro than he was willing to give himself.
"When Coach Reynell first came in it was a big change," Ramsey said. "In the last three years we had three different coaches. He had a lot of sets and at first it was complicated. But, he brought a lot of energy and he was a big inspiration to the whole team and he really showed us that he cared."
From walking out of the tunnel in the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill at the state finals to countless nights inside a packed Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium to feeling like a proud parent as he watched his players graduate, Reynell leaves Goldsboro with no shortage of memories. He also leaves with the satisfaction of knowing he spent three years pouring every ounce of himself into a program that was fortunate enough to watch a young coach grow up before its eyes.
"Athletics sometimes is that one little extra push sometimes that kids need," Reynell said. "I've got my pictures of all my guys when they graduated and I'll remember that most. Having them look back on Goldsboro and saying, 'Through all the hard times there was a benefit in this and I'm using it for good,' is what I'll remember. When I came here there was criticism and that's fine, but there's satisfaction in knowing we put a team out there every year that was competitive and that played with the best teams in the state."
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