BA alum Jake Reed hired as head boys’ basketball coach at South Pike

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Brookhaven Academy product Jake Reed has known that he wanted to be a basketball coach since he was a kid.

Reed grew up in Kentucky before moving to Lincoln County with his family while a junior high-aged student.

The basketball journey that Reed has been traveling reached a new, big step recently when he was hired as head boys’ basketball coach at South Pike High School, his first head coaching job after previously being an assistant at Copiah-Lincoln CC and Clinton High School.

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Last year at Clinton High, Reed was a first-year assistant coach for a team that finished 23-4 and repeated as MHSAA 6A champs.

When he was hired at CHS, Reed replaced West Lincoln head coach Jay Case, who’d been an assistant for the Arrows previously before coming home to lead his alma mater.

Reed and Case played together for one season as teammates at Copiah-Lincoln for former head coach Dennis Sims.

In 2014, Reed was hired as an assistant coach at CLCC by then head coach Kenny Bizot.

The pair worked together until 2021, when Bizot stepped down at Co-Lin to become athletic director at Mississippi College.

An All-Area MVP as a player at Brookhaven Academy, Reed was part of four state championship teams while playing for the Cougars and former head coach Dale Watts.

As a senior at BA, the 6-foot-3 Reed averaged 18.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a forward.

He was an MAIS All-Star while playing at BA and an MACCC All-Star game selection following his sophomore season playing for the Wolves in Wesson.

After a freshman season in which he appeared in all 21 games, Reed went on to average 9.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists for Co-Lin as a sophomore.

Next for Reed was two years playing for hall-of-fame coach Steve Knight at William Carey University in Hattiesburg.

The WCU Crusaders had two loaded teams during his time there and went to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri when Reed was both a junior and senior. William Carey finished with a combined record of 54-9 during that time.

Reed’s wife Hali is an assistant coach for the Bogue Chitto softball team. Then Hali Sasser, she was an all-state softball player at North Pike before then going on to play two seasons at Southwest Mississippi CC.

Basketball coaching is a family affair as Hali’s sister Ashley is married to McNeese State assistant coach Thomas Gray. Gray is a native of Columbia who was previously head men’s basketball coach at Southwest MS in Summit and then a member of the staff at Ole Miss before making the move to Lake Charles.

The Reed family stayed in southwest Mississippi after Jake took the job at Clinton High and the shorter commute to Magnolia is also an anticipated, fringe benefit of move to South Pike.

The hiring of Reed is part of a number of coaching changes at South Pike.

Previously, Pike County basketball coaching legend Hilton Harrell had served as head boys’ basketball coach, head girls’ basketball coach and athletic director at the school.

Assistant football and head track coach Luther “Skip” McCray is now the athletic director in Magnolia.

Besides hiring Reed, the school has also tabbed Candace Felder-Hall to lead the girls’ basketball program and hired Jeremy Jones as the head football coach.

The Eagles were looking for a new leader on the football field after longtime coach Brinson Wall, son of former South Pike and Brookhaven High head football coach Greg Wall, retired after the season.

The SP boys’ basketball team went 18-14 last season and made the second round of the 4A playoffs before losing to Forest County AHS.

The Eagles play in arguably one of the toughest 4A basketball regions in the state — Region 6-4A.

Raymond, who plays in a beautiful new gym that has a case full of trophies, won the 4A title this season and played in the championship game for a sixth straight year. The Rangers have dominated Region 6-4A during that run.

The Lanier Bulldogs are also members of the same region and are no slouch either. Lanier beat Raymond for the 4A title in 2021 and was 22-9 last season.

Other region foes for South Pike include Wingfield High and local rivals McComb and North Pike.

“It’s definitely going to be a tough region,” said Reed. “The first thing was making sure our schedule locked in and letting the kids get to know me and know what we’re going to be about as a team and program. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming year.”