Coaching to Biblical Manhood
Assistant basketball coach shepherding the “flock”
By Bob Holmes
Danny Reese wants the young men entrusted to him to walk
in biblical manhood. That’s a high calling for an assistant
basketball coach. But Reese says he’s more than a coach – he’s
a disciple maker for Jesus.
To Rams basketball fans, Reese is the guy with the clipboard on
the Rams bench logging stats and leaning toward Head Coach
Marshall Teague to offer advice. But to the
players, he has been an available mentor,
friend – and fellow classmate. At age 39,
Reese crossed the stage of Shortess Chapel
in April earning a bachelor’s degree in Bible,
ready to continue his ministry to young men.
“I’m concerned about how they’re living
their life and seeing how they grow in their
devotion to Christ,” Reese said.
Devotion to Christ was not Reese’s priority
when he was the age of those he is
coaching and mentoring today. Reese grew
up in the Columbia area playing basketball
for Brookland-Cayce High School. But he
said he made some “terrible choices” and was incarcerated for
a time in the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.
Still, he finished high school on time, and would go on to play
college basketball at Wabash Valley Junior College in Illinois
and Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.
It was at Northeastern State that he had a Christian teammate
who “showered him with love.”
“He would always pray with me, he was pouring the Word
of God into me every chance he got,” Reese recalls with a
fondness in his voice. “God reminds me of all these people He
would bring into my life.
“(But) all this time I was not in an abiding relationship with
Christ,” Reese continued. “I would call on Him whenever I had
a need. But I was still wanting what I wanted in my life.”
After his years at Northeastern State, his life took another spiral
downward as he went through a period of depression, drug
dealing and what he called “street life” that landed him in the
”I always fell short. I had no purpose of living. My life was
identified by the game of basketball.”
His sentence for the drug dealing was 12 years suspended
with five years of probation – if he entered a Christian-oriented
program called “U-Turn for Christ” hosted by Calvary Chapel in
Lexington, South Carolina.
Reese made the U-Turn. The program
taught him a disciplined, biblical life, and he
grew in a relationship with Christ.
“I had enough of me,” Reese said.
Reese found full-time employment and
after a couple of years in the marketplace,
he responded to what he describes as a
“calling” to come to CIU as a student and
“My steps were ordered to be here.”
Reese plans to continue on as a Rams
assistant coach next season, helping
to establish what he calls “a
championship culture for Christ” in
the young basketball program.
“(God) has given me the
opportunity to impact
young men,” Reese
explains. “Coaching is
a part of mentoring. It’s
like shepherding. Tending
to your flock. It’s pointing
them to the Word of
God with Christ as our
is a part of
Tending to your
advice to CIU
Reese received his
in Bible at April’s