Mike Reid didn’t go into coaching high school basketball to become a hall-of-fame inductee. But the longtime North Thurston High School assistant boys basketball coach, working with two different head coaches over parts of four decades, has a loyalty to the program, to his alma mater, and to the school where his children have also attended.
This winter, Reid, a 1981 North Thurston graduate, will enter his 29th year of coaching at North Thurston and is one of nine coaches representing the newest class into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame and will be honored at 6 p.m. July 24 at the Tacoma Elks Club. He’s part of a class that also features familiar South Sound assistants Tim Gilmore and Larry Mollerstuen of Centralia, and the late Bill Ward, former longtime head boys coach at Tumwater who also led Yelm to the 1958 state title.
"There’s probably 100 assistant coaches around and a lot in this area who are just as deserving,” Reid said, “It’s an honor to have a recognition that way.”
While many coaches dream of running their own programs, Reid, who played at Whitman College, has never wanted to. A local businessman specializing in commercial contracting and real estate developing, Reid has had schools come after him over the years, only for him to say no. There was no interest to leave North Thurston, joining the school as a ‘C’ team coach in 1985 and being promoted to junior-varsity the following year under former head coach Ed Smith. When Smith stepped down in 1993, the thought was Reid would take over, but he wasn’t interested in applying. The job was given to the program’s ‘C’ team coach was an up-and-coming coach and teacher, Tim Brown, who is entering his 21st season as the head coach this winter. Reid has remained the JV coach and Brown’s top assistant.
“He’s someone I can lean on,” Brown said. “The great thing about Mike is he’s a hall of fame coach, but he’s an even better person.”
The pair have since led North Thurston to five league titles (shared or outright) and four state tournament appearances, but more importantly, Reid is proud of the accomplishments of players beyond and after basketball, teaching tools for life.
“I can’t think of a better medium to give those guys knowledge that’s going to help them besides athletics,” he said.
Ward, who passed away in 2009, coached at Tumwater from when the school opened in 1961 through 1986, compiling 241 of his 374 career wins with the Thunderbirds. In just his second season at Yelm, the Tornados won the Class B state title in 1958, finishing 20-5 and defeating Brewster, 48-41.39th annual WIBCA Hall of Fame inductees
Head coaches: Dennis Bower (Onalaska, W.F. West, Northport), Bill Hawk (Muckleshoot, Enumclaw, White River, Battle Ground), Bill Ward (Yelm, Tumwater).
Assistant coaches: Mike Reid (North Thurston), Tim Gilmore and Larry Mollerstuen (Centralia), Larry Hill (Sequim), Howard Thoemke (Joyce, Central Kitsap, North Kitsap, Olympic, North Mason), Bob Petrosik (Stanwood, Pe Ell).
Ed Pepple Service Award: Jerry Parrish (North Kitsap).
-- Meg Wochnick, staff writer