The milestone--300 victories as Southern California College men's basketball coach--wasn't something Bill Reynolds was shooting for especially.
After it happened Tuesday in a 56-55 victory over Elmhurst (Ill.), Reynolds graciously accepted a plaque from the SCC athletic department and congratulations from friends and family, but it was clear he is focusing primarily on the rest of this season.
Reynolds says he is worried that the Vanguards still need to improve to do well in the Golden State Athletic Conference. SCC has won five of its last six games after starting the season 0-4, but Reynolds says the Vanguards still aren't making enough of their easy shots and aren't showing enough intensity on defense.
"We've just been average in both of those areas," Reynolds said, "and you can't be average in the GSAC and expect to compete."
If there is one thing Reynolds' SCC teams have had in common, it's that they always compete. "When you play a Bill Reynolds team you better be ready to play," Chapman Coach Mike Bokosky said. "If you are at all casual, they're going to beat you down the floor."
But SCC's notable success under Reynolds--the Vanguards never won fewer than 19 games in his first 12 seasons--has tailed off recently. SCC, which had never finished lower than second in the GSAC, was eighth and sixth the last two seasons, winning only six conference games during that span.
Reynolds is concerned. As the conference's only part-time men's basketball head coach, he cannot spend as much time recruiting as the others. Competing programs have bigger budgets and better facilities.
Reynolds, who is a guidance counselor at Bolsa Grande High School, stays because he enjoys working with his players and likes the family feeling at SCC. But the losses are wearing, and he wonders whether a younger coach could bring more energy to the job.
"I'm 55 now and I could walk away from it at the end of this year," Reynolds said. "A lot could depend on how we respond the rest of the season.
"I'm too competitive to accept the fact of being at the bottom of the pack the next few years and all the intangible rewards might not be enough to make me want to sustain that."
Reynolds, 300-151 at SCC, said he never expected to remain with the Vanguards this long. Friends in coaching--including Bokosky, then an assistant at UC Irvine--told him he was crazy to take the job in the first place. " 'Bill you're in a no-win situation. You're a walk-on coach surrounded by Division I schools,' " Reynolds remembers Bokosky telling him.
"If anyone would have told me 15 years ago that I'd still be doing this at this level," Reynolds said, "I would have told them they're loony."
Reynolds took the position as a challenge after 14 successful years as a high school coach. He was 167-139 at La Quinta and Bolsa Grande, making him 467-290 as a head coach.
In 1981-82, Reynolds' first season at SCC, the coaching staff and players had to move portable bleachers from the baseball field into the gym for home games. On the court SCC was immediately successful, going 21-10 that season, including a 64-61 loss to Biola, which lost only one game that season--the title game of the NAIA national tournament.
Other memories stand out:
* In the 1987-88 season, SCC lost to Loyola Marymount, 138-109, holding Hank Gathers to 33 points and Bo Kimble to 28.
* The 1988-89 team, which Reynolds considers his best, lost to Biola, 65-60, in the NAIA District 3 title game.
* The '89-90 team winning the district title and winning its first-round game at the national tournament.
Along the way, Reynolds has built a lot of goodwill from opposing coaches. "I sure have a lot of respect for him," Concordia Coach Greg Marshall said. "He combines the best things of competition with the best traits of Christian character.
"He's one of the heroes, I think, in small college basketball."
Said Bokosky: "He's one of the most well-liked coaches in our profession. He's a good man. He's a really good man."
Big rally: Trailing La Verne by as many as 16 points in the first half and by 13 after several minutes of the second, the Chapman women's basketball team turned it around and won, 74-69, Saturday.
"It's probably the best comeback I've ever been a part of," Coach Mary Hegarty said, "and to do that on the road was a really big win for us."
Reserve forward Shawna Parkinson scored 17 points and Lyndsay Brown had eight points and eight rebounds in only 16 minutes for the Panthers (4-4).
Krista Jones, SCC women's volleyball coach, has resigned, Athletic Director Bob Wilson announced this week.
The Vanguards were 9-19 last season under Jones, her first season as a college coach. Wilson said she resigned so she could spend more time with her family.
Jones, formerly Krista Hoover, played volleyball four seasons for the Vanguards before graduating in 1992. She also was a head coach at El Dorado High School.
Pete Sverkos, a guard on the Chapman men's basketball team, was named West Region player of the week by Columbus Multimedia, after scoring 25 points, including seven three-pointers, in a 71-65 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Dec. 9.