Former Plano West head football coach Mark Reeve was inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Association’s Hall of Honor Wednesday afternoon in Fort Worth, but it wasn’t the ceremony that had the most impact on him.
“This is definitely a great honor, but the best part of the day was the reunion with all the old coaches and players,” Reeve said. “It was great getting to see so many of the people that have helped me along the way.”
Reeve was one of five people that comprised the 2007 Hall of Honor Class, a group that included Mike Honeycutt, who is currently the defensive coordinator at San Antonio MacArthur. Reeve and Honeycutt coached together at Jefferson and San Antonio Clark High School.
“He is the best motivator and hardest worker I have ever seen," Honeycutt said in reference to Reeve. “He just understands the mentality of a football player. We've been great friends and that makes it so special for us.”
But Reeve has had plenty of time to make friends during a coaching career that began in Frisco 33 years ago. After serving in many different roles, Reeve got his first job as a head coach in 1990 when he took over at Victoria High School. After nine years at Victoria, Reeve headed to Plano West to become the Wolves first head coach and athletic coordinator.
“They have a tremendous system at West and I’m glad to think I might have been even a small part of it,” Reeve said. “The thing that always stands out about the city of Plano is how many great people I got to work with and the fact that we always had such tremendous community support.”
And although Reeve was only with the Wolves for three years, he still keeps tabs on how the program is doing, mentioning the recent successes of baseball coach Kendall Clark, girls basketball coach Don Patterson and golf coach Rick Hardison, amongst others.
And he is still keenly aware of how the football team fares now that it is led by current coach and athletic coordinator Mike Hughes.
“I look in the paper every Saturday morning to see how they are doing,” Reeve said. “It’s a great school that has just gotten better and better, and I root for all of the sports teams there.”
And while Reeve and Hughes didn’t work on the football coaching staff together, the former West coach made a solid impression on the current Wolves leader.
“He was the coach when my son (Blake) was on the team,” Hughes said. “He treated my son just how you would want; he coached him hard, but did things the right way.
“And you always knew that Mark really cared about the kids, and I think that shows in what a great record he has established.”
After his three-year stint at West, Reeve served as an assistant at Alice High School for one season before taking over at Cuero High School in 2003. During his four years with the Gobblers, Reeve has a 48-5 record, which includes a trip to the Class 3A Division I State Championship Game in 2004. Reeve said one more championship appearance would bump Cuero up to 11, a mark that would equal Plano Senior’s state record. Because of that, Reeve laughed and said he, “Understood if the Plano community was cheering against him.”
And even though the Gobblers would lose in the 2004 title game to Abilene Wylie, 17-14, the success Reeve has achieved at Cuero has only added to an already impressive coaching record. In 16 seasons as a head coach, Reeve has amassed a 156-31-4 mark.
“Wow, that’s almost as good as (Tom) Kimbrough,” Hughes said in response to hearing Reeve’s overall record.
And it is those accolades that led him to be honored at the THSCA’s annual coaching school event. Reeve was nominated in January, before getting notified in May that he had been selected to enter the Hall of Honor.
“I didn’t really think about it too much at first because there are so many great coaches that get nominated,” Reeve said. “I never thought this was going to happen, but it was such a great honor and a really neat day.”
During his speech, Reeve, who described himself as, “Probably the luckiest guy in the world,” deflected credit from himself and instead opted to heap praise on the role that coaches played in his life. He also acknowledged Phil Saviano, the former principal at West.
Two of the coaches Reeve included amongst his heroes were John Clark and Kimbrough, whom he described as “legends.” While Clark was inducted into the Hall of Honor in 1979, Kimbrough is still not a member.
In the last two years, Reeve said he has contacted several athletic directors and has attempted to get a letter-writing campaign going in an attempt to get Kimbrough into the Hall of Honor.
And it is that type of compassion that has endeared Reeve to many of his former players. Tuesday evening, Reeve traveled to the house of Leonard McAngus, head football coach at Justin Northwest, for a get together with friends, as well as former players and coaches.
Reeve received a gift during the gathering from Ryan and Jerrod Harris, who played for the coach at Victoria before heading to the Air Force Academy. Reeve was given a flag that was a part of a May 7 combat mission in Iraq. Reeve said the date of the mission was around the time he found out about getting into the Hall of Honor.
In addition to former players and coaches, the Wednesday induction luncheon was also attended by Reeve’s wife, Jan, and his sons, Travis and Charlie.
And while going into the Hall of Honor will indeed enhance Reeve’s legacy, the continued athletic success of the Wolves is reason enough for many people in Plano to respect the former West football coach and athletic coordinator.
“We took what Mark started and are trying to build on it,” Hughes said. “And I think we have the opportunity to be one of the best teams in the state this year.”