Joe Reilly, the head men’s basketball coach at Bates for the past 11 seasons, has been named Wesleyan’s head men’s basketball coach. He succeeds interim head coach Jay Johnson, who guided the 2007-08 Cardinals to their highest win total in three seasons.
Reilly has guided Bates to eight straight winning seasons, and the Bobcats have qualified for the NESCAC tournament every season since 2002-03. The 2004-05 Bates squad reached the NESCAC finals (where it fell to Amherst), and the 2005-06 team set a school record for wins during a 20-6 season, earning Reilly NESCAC Coach of the Year laurels and being unanimously selected as the number-one Division III team in Maine by the Maine Men’s Basketball Coaches Association. Overall, Reilly went 154-121 at Bates, including 151-120 after his inaugural 3-21 season. He is just five wins shy of being the winningest coach in Bates men’s basketball history.
Reilly is a 1991 graduate of in-state rival Trinity, where he played for legendary coach Stan Ogrodnik, the winningest head coach in Trinity men’s basketball history. Reilly was part of a 1988-89 Trinity squad that won the ECAC tournament. He led that team with 131 assists, the ninth-highest season total in school history. Reilly is also a career 1,000-point scorer and was a two-year captain.
Reilly comes from a long line of basketball excellence. His father, Joe Reilly, Sr., won 512 games over 34 seasons in the high-school ranks and is only the eighth high school coach in Connecticut basketball history to win over 500 games. He is a member of both the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and Connecticut High School Hall of Fame. Reilly’s uncle, Gene Reilly, has also won over 500 games in Connecticut at Portland High School, and his brother Luke is the current head coach at East Catholic High School in Manchester.
Reilly’s appointment to the faculty is effective on July 1.