by NICK ALVARADO//Sports Editor
After Joe Tubb completed a successful 33 years at South Plains College, Roger Reding was announced as the new athletic director on Sept. 9 in a press conference held at the T-Club Lounge at Texan Dome.
SPC President Dr. Robin Satterwhite introduced Reding, who is a former student, basketball player and a former assistant women’s basketball coach.
During the press conference, Reding said that it’s not often that a person comes back to the place that they love, and he feels honored to return and to be a part of the special athletic department.
“This thing ain’t broke,” Reding said in the press conference. “This is one of the top programs in the country in junior college, and I sure want to keep it there.”
With replacing Tubb, Reding says that he had a great connection with Tubb and had the opportunity to work alongside him.
“I’ve known him all of my life,” Reding said. “When I worked for him, he was here as AD.”
A Whitharral native, Reding played basketball at SPC before moving on to Texas Tech University, where he graduated.
Right after graduating from SPC, Reding went to coach at the high school level at Whitharral for both boys and girls basketball. He recorded a 70-42 record in two seasons with the Panthers.
Reding coached alongside Hall of Fame coach Marsha Sharp at Texas Tech for 16 years, where he was a part of the 1993 national championship team that included former Lady Texan and women’s basketball great, Sheryl Swoopes.
While at Tech, Reding was great friends with the SPC women’s basketball coach at the time, Lyndon Hardin. With the connection with Hardin, Reding was able to recruit some players to Texas Tech.
“I was back and forth with him,” Reding said. “I kept up with his program, obviously, since he’s one of my best friends.”
After Reding’s time at Tech, he moved on to become a part of a WNBA team, the Chicago Sky, as an assistant coach and the director of player personnel in 2007.
In 2008, Reding returned to the high school ranks, taking the head golf position at Frenship High School, where he spent eight years. During those eight years, the Tigers had four state tournament appearances.
During Tubb’s tenure, 42 NJCAA titles have been collected, including 10 consecutive men’s outdoor track and field titles. Reding says that he would like to maintain high standards in all of the athletic programs.
“Joe has put together one of the best coaching staffs in the country,” Reding said. “I can’t wait to work with those guys.”
During his four years of coaching at SPC, Reding says that he was around some key coaches who made an impact on his life.
“I grew up 13 miles down the road,” Reding said. “I graduated from a class of 13 and came here. I met a lot of huge people that influenced my life, Mr. Tubb, W.A. Wise, Larry Roberts, Lyndon Hardin, Clint Ramsey, James Morris, and the list goes on and on.”
With a new start in an athletic program, there is surely expectations. For Reding, they are the same as before.
“If you coach at South Plains College, you have enough high expectations to start with,” Reding said. “I think all of our teams are going to excel this year. I’ve been able to see the men’s and women’s basketball team workout, and they both have quality teams. I saw the rodeo team compete [in Alpine], and the girls side won the championship in Alpine. They are fully talented. Our track program, year in and year out, is always successful, and our cross country team won this on Sept. 24.”
Expectations are high for all teams to contend for national championships. Reding has the bar set high for the athletic programs and athletes for the year. That is, if the athletes have high expectations for themselves.
“We are so lucky and so blessed that we have excellent facilities, excellent instructors and excellent administrators across the street that allow us to compete at a high level and give us resources,” said Reding. “I have no higher expectations than what they have of themselves.”