Steve Reece, director of one of the nation’s premier youth travel team programs, Each 1 Teach 1 United, is now also the boys basketball head coach for Oak Ridge High School.
Reece, who was a Pioneers’ assistant coach for five years before sitting out the 2016-17 high school season, confirmed his hiring on Friday and said his aspirations are to lead Oak Ridge basketball to national notoriety.
“I want Oak Ridge to be mentioned as one of the national powerhouses in the country,” Reece said. “My main goal is to get every kid that plays for me at Oak Ridge a college scholarship. That’s my number one goal.”
Reece said every E1T1 player since he became director has landed a scholarship, and all but one to a D-I college program.
Reece, 37, replaces 25-year-old O’Neil Lubin, who led the Pioneers to a 24-5 season and a region runner-up finish as interim head coach last season.
Lubin was told on Wednesday, June 31, that he was not being retained as head coach.
Lubin, a former Oak Ridge team captain, said he was “stunned” by the dismissal and the fact that principal Jennifer Bellinger waited until the last day of school to tell him.
Oak Ridge is set to return seven of the eight leading scorers from a squad that lost 63-60 on the road in a region final against eventual Class 9A state champ Kissimmee Osceola.
That list includes highly-recruited rising senior guard Mike Devoe, senior-to-be Rob Perry, and junior prospects Kaleb Coleman, Niven Glover, and Emmanuel Adedoyin.
Antwann Jones, a 6-foot-6 major college prospect who was dismissed from the team for rules violations prior to the playoffs, is also expected to play for the Pioneers as a senior.
“I’m excited to be back at Oak Ridge,” Reece said. “We’ve got a really talented team. We’re going to work hard. Our goal is to win a state championship and make it to the Dick’s (Sporting Goods) national championship tournament.”
Reece, a native of Cincinnati, played college basketball for Kentucky State University. He earned a degree in marketing and a master’s degree from the school and also started his coaching as a grad assistant for the Thorobreds.
Reece came to Orlando to become an area director for Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida in 2005. He was also a program director for the South Orlando YMCA before joining the Oak Ridge staff and becoming a teacher at the school.
Reece said he signed on at Oak Ridge before he joined E1T1 and said the Pioneers will become his priority after the 2017 travel circuit winds down this summer.
“My main focus after July is going to be Oak Ridge High School,” Reece said. “I’m not sure about what will happen with Each 1 Teach 1. I know I’ll be 100-percent locked in to this.”