Reeves named Eagles basketball coach
For the past 19 years, Shelby Reeves has been an assistant coach with the Hobbs basketball program. Tuesday afternoon, he became just the fourth head coach for the Eagles in the last 68 years.
Reeves has been an Eagle his entire life.
“I am very excited, very, very excited,” Reeves said. “I felt like this day was going to come, I just didn’t know when. I felt like I have put in the time and worked hard for it. To be announced the next head coach of the Hobbs Eagles, in a place where I grew up, in a place where I have been coming ever since I was six years old, that I call home, I bleed black and gold.”
Brenda Wilson, the Hobbs High School Athletic Director, said several people made phone calls to show interest in the opening. But the school district never actually opened the job to the public, instead choosing to promote from within.
“We all had phone calls about it,” Wilson said. “Shelby was already in the system and we decided to promote him at that point.”
Wilson expects good things from the long-time Eagles assistant coach.
“Shelby has put 20 years into the Hobbs school system, doing a little bit of everything,” Wilson said. “He has worked for coach Smith of course. He has worked for Gilmore. He worked with coach (Ralph) Tasker when he coached the girls. He has worked with Johnny Casaus. He has done some really good work so we are thrilled to have him on board here and we think he will do a phenomenal job. He is very familiar with the system and the kids and the program. I expect great things to happen with Shelby at the helm.”
He was a three-year varsity player for Ralph Tasker, playing from 1981-82 through the 1983-84 season. He went on to work with Ralph Tasker, Russ Gilmore. Johnny Casaus, and Mike Smith. For the past eight seasons, he has been Smith’s top assistant.
“Being here at the high school going on 20 years, playing for coach Tasker, he (Tasker) was around when I first started helping coach,” Reeves said. “Being with Mike (Smith) and Gil (Russ Gilmore) and coach (Johnny) Casaus and just the feeling of being in the gym, it is not like a change. The deal is, it is going to continue. Continue that Hobbs Eagles style.”
Aside from coaching with Smith for the previous eight years, Reeves also coached with Smith for one year in Cobre, the 1992-93 season. After that one season, Smith moved on to Las Cruces while Reeves came back to Hobbs.
Reeves got a chance to let Eagles returning players for next season’s team learn the news from him Tuesday after school in Tasker Arena.
“They were nervous. They had text me all spring beak and a lot of people were asking,” Reeves said. “The 10 that we have in here, that is all we have right now, I did tell them that I am the next head coach. They were excited and they congratulated me.”
As an assistant for the Eagles for the past eight years as well as a physical education teacher, Reeves already knows the ins and outs of the program and the student body.
While Reeves will be the new head coach, his time coaching under Tasker and Gilmore and Casaus and Smith means he is not an unknown to the program.
“Sometimes even though it’s a change, it is not new to them,” Reeves said. “I am not new to them. They know me and understand how I coach.”
Smith, who just announced his retirement, is glad to see his top aide get the chance to succeed him.
“That is the right choice,” Smith said. “He is the guy. He is the legendary Shelby Reeves. He has been here for 30-something years doing what he does. He makes it all work. He will be a good (head) coach.”
Reeves brings some of the same qualities Smith brought to the table as head coach and a few different ones. Smith was the guru behind the Eagles’ offensive plays. While he learned a lot from Smith, Reeves will bring a stronger defensive mind to the boys’ basketball team.
“The same thing I bring is the Hobbs Eagles style. That is one of the things that is the same,” Reeves said. “I think one of the differences is Mike, to me, is more of an offensive type guy. He can come up with plays left and right all over the place. I am more of a defensive type guy. I love getting out there on defense. Mike has taught me a lot. Learning the Xs and Os from him and the different offenses. I will put that with a high-run defense and we will really pressure up and press and get after it. I feel like I can do a lot of good things.”
Reeves did not win a state title during his high school years, but the Eagles did go 67-12 from the 1981-82 season through the 1983-84 season. The Eagles won the Hobbs Holiday Tournament during Reeves’ sophomore and junior years. Hobbs beat Tempe Corona del Sol of Arizona, 87-81, in 1982 and needed two overtimes to knock off Altus from Oklahoma, 82-79, in 1983.
During the 1983-84 Hobbs Holiday Tournament, Reeves scored 65 points for the Eagles. Reeves averaged 16.3 points a game during his three-year career with the Eagles.
Stepping up as the head basketball coach will not hinder Reeves and his anti-bullying program. The Eagles’ newest boys’ basketball coach said he will continue to run his anti-bullying program, ‘Speak Love’. The program will be entering its seventh year and Reeves and high school students who want to help make a positive difference for younger kids speaks about once or twice a month at area schools. Reeves said they are hoping to get the colleges involved soon too.