05/02/12 — Stevens: Reynell's actions, not words led to trust among players

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Stevens: Reynell's actions, not words led to trust among players

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 2, 2012 1:49 PM

The Goldsboro High School basketball program doesn't have to wait until June to understand its most-recent loss. The past three seasons with Patrick Reynell on the bench say enough.

The Cougars, for the fourth time since 2007, have begun yet another search for someone to direct its varsity boys' basketball team. Reynell informed administrators last week of his decision to take a job at Fairless High School in Navarre, Ohio.

The move puts Reynell closer to family.

Reynell renewed the emphasis on academics within the boys' basketball program and established an invaluable trust with his players. Young men watched as Reynell displayed an authenticity that resonated with them. The former Charles B. Aycock assistant coach put his words into actions, and demonstrated a genuine concern about the players' lives and not just winning basketball games.

The search for Reynell's replacement can't be nor should it be, about finding the best available coach. Instead, it must be about finding the right coach.

The administration at Goldsboro High School should consider the lasting effects the turnover with its boys' basketball coaching position has taken on its players.

Chris Cherry arrived at Goldsboro in 2008 and described coaching the Cougars as his "dream job." Cherry left at the end of the season to become the boys' basketball coach at South Central High School. Goldsboro doesn't need another coach that views the job as a rest stop along the coaching highway on his way to stardom.

"We hope to stress to candidates that we're looking for someone who wants to make this place a home for quite a while," co-athletics director Eric Reid said. "Goldsboro is a wonderful place and we hope to find a coach who can continue our tradition of winning in basketball."

There is a responsibility on the administration to a hire a candidate who is willing to stress academics and who understands that establishing trust with his players will have to be earned -- not given. Adjusting to yet another voice in the locker room and a different coaching style is understandably going to take some time for players who right now have the word "fragile" stamped in giant letters across their chests.

"To be honest, it's going to be difficult," senior guard Moses Ramsey said. "Our players are going to see a new coach as taking over for coach Reynell. He's going to have to show us he's here for us and not just the job. He has to actually care and help us get in college like coach Reynell did, and not just for basketball, but for what we want to major in."

Goldsboro is a unique place steeped in tradition with unchanging expectations of success. Despite having zero experience as a head coach when he arrived, Reynell embraced those expectations. Finding a replacement willing to do the same isn't an option, it is a requirement.