By Andrea Camarena

Randy Reeder's career is coming full circle this year. He returns to Exeter this fall as the head basketball coach for the Monarchs boys team.

Reeder began his career at Exeter Union High School in 1983 as a JV coach and varsity assistant. His coaching career has led him to Central Valley Christian, Redwood and back to Exeter. But he returns to the home of the Monarchs under tragic circumstances. Reeder will fill the vacancy left by the unexpected passing of Exeter's nine-year head coach Jim Mitchell, who died on July 9 of this year.

&#8220It was a very difficult situation emotionally to try to replace Jim Mitchell,” Exeter Athletic Director Jim Bennett said. &#8220We had several interviews with different candidates before selecting Randy.”

&#8220We're obviously looking for someone who's going to continue the winning tradition we have here in Exeter,” Bennett said. &#8220Someone who can help the program grow.”

Bennett said that the school's panel was looking for a coach who would be a good fit for the kids especially in this tough transitional period for the boys.

Reeder was an unlikely candidate for the position after deciding to retire from coaching at the end of the 2006 basketball season at CVC.

&#8220I really had retired last year thinking I was done,” Reeder said. &#8220But then I went to a CVC summer game and realized I wanted to get back to it. I just love the game and love working with the guys.”

Reeder comes to Exeter with an impressive career record of 285 wins and 160 losses. One of his goals will be to earn that 300th win in the upcoming season.

&#8220We've talked about it and one of our goals will be to get him to 300,” Bennett said.

Bennett was among the panel of administrators and board members who selected Reeder for the job. Reeder's successes at CVC and Redwood were among his top qualities.

He led the Cavaliers to six league titles in nine years coaching from '88-'95. The Cavaliers even brought home the ‘95 Valley Title under Reeder's leadership.

While coaching at Redwood from ‘98-'04, the Rangers won four East Yosemite League titles. Reeder returned to CVC for the last two seasons and the team earned another Valley Title in 2005.

&#8220Over the last decade or more, if you want to look at a successful program in the area, Randy Reeder has been there,” Bennett said. &#8220When we started the process of hiring a new coach, we didn't know someone with his success would be interested. This is an opportunity to bring up the program and his resume speaks for itself.”

Reeder, who will be an off-campus coach, hopes to familiarize himself with the players and the program in the next couple of weeks.

&#8220I want to coach with the talent I have,” Reeder said. &#8220I really want to try to extend the court. On offense, I want to try to push the ball. This will be a faster game than they've been playing and it will open up for more guys to play.”

On defense, Reeder is scheming for full court man to man coverage.

&#8220I really want to get the program going,” Reeder said.

Reeder will announce in the next few weeks when they will begin open gym practices and have a meeting for all interested players.

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