LOREAUVILLE — Paul Reed learned something from every coach he ever played for or worked with, first as a basketball player at Loreauville High School and Louisiana College and then for nearly three decades as a coach in South Louisiana.

The longtime Loreauville High head basketball coach will continue to put those lessons to use as he moves to Shreveport to work with former college teammate Chris Bush at Captain Shreve High School with an eye toward becoming an assistant coach at nearby Centenary College.

Reed, who has spent 17 years of his coaching career at his high school alma mater sandwiched around a nine-year term at West St. Mary High School, said he’d long thought that at some point he wouldn’t mind becoming a college assistant coach.

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While at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s state basketball tournament in Sulphur this spring, Reed was told by Centenary head coach Chris Dorsey that he might have an assistant’s position open soon. Dorsey had been recruiting LHS guard Matthew Hinton, who signed with the Gents in April.

While Centenary doesn’t have an immediate position available, Reed said he may have the opportunity next year to coach at the Division III program. In the meantime, after discussing a move with his wife, he applied for several jobs in the area, taking the one at Captain Shreve with his former Wildcats teammate, who was hired in March. 

Reed will teach at Keithville Middle School.

“I told him if things didn’t work out at Centenary I’d work with him,” Reed said.

The move also brings him much closer to son John “JP” Reed, who is finishing up at Texas College in Tyler, Texas, he said. JP plans to stay in Tyler, his dad said.

“We’ll be one hour away instead of five hours away,” Paul Reed said.

Reed began coaching immediately after college, starting at Berwick Junior High after being hired by principal Stan Beaubouef, the former boys’ basketball coach at BHS. After a year there he would serve as an assistant with Herman Hartman at Morgan City High School for two years.

Reed stressed that he owes a debt to all the coaches he’d played and worked for.

From Richard Peccantte he learned toughness, Reed said. He learned discipline from Kirk Crochet, and he said he learned from Gene Rushing at Louisiana College that winning isn’t everything. He learned from his high school coach David LeBlanc how to help his players get exposure with college coaches.

When he was playing at Loreauville, one college had heard of him. LeBlanc made sure other colleges got to know him, and by the end of his recruitment there were offers from 16 colleges, Reed said.

“Coach LeBlanc did a good job getting my name out there,” Reed said. “Even at a small school you can get their names out there.”

He also said he was grateful for the opportunity coaching in the area gave him to meet fellow coaches and make friendships that last a lifetime, like those he’s made with Patrick Vital, Alton Dressel and Gerald Broussard. Reed also mentioned his basketball staff at Loreauville — Hall Williams, Troy Gilton and Charlie Gant — and WSM coach Gary Burrell, with whom he worked.

Reed is adjusting from being at a small school like Loreauville to a 5A school like Captain Shreve, he said. The Gators recently held tryouts — one for freshmen and one for varsity players — with 40 freshmen coming out and more than 40 varsity players. 

Captain Shreve faces the unenviable task of playing in a district with Evangel Christian, Parkway and Southwood, he noted.

“I’m excited about the new opportunity,” Reed said. “Trying something different woke a fire in me.”

At the same time, he said, he remains committed to his home area.

“At the end of the day, I’m from Iberia Parish and any opportunity I have I want to do things in the area to help kids get attention.”

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