Jason Gillespie was named the Eagles’ new head coach Tuesday, with Matt Stearsman his lead assistant.
Gillespie, a head coach at the collegiate level for nine years, takes over for Jeffrey Pourchier, who left after five seasons to become the head coach at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta last month.
“We are very excited to have Jason Gillespie take the helm of our men’s basketball program,” Reinhardt athletic director Bill Popp said in a release. “Jason brings many years of experience and has taken teams to conference championships and to the national level during his coaching career. He will be a great asset to the basketball team, the athletic department, as well as the university,”
Gillespie comes to Reinhardt after less than four months as the head coach at one of the Eagles’ Appalachian Athletic Conference rivals, Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va. Before arriving at Virginia Intermont, Gillespie spent three seasons as the athletic director and head basketball coach at Cincinnati Christian University in Ohio, where he guided the school’s move to NAIA membership.
Prior to that, he spent four years at Bluefield College, another AAC school in Virginia, where was twice named the conference’s Coach of the Year and led the Rams to three straight NAIA Division II national tournament appearances from 2007-09.
Gillespie’s final team at Bluefield, in 2008-09, finished 27-7 with a perfect 18-0 conference record, and it ranked eighth nationally.
“Reinhardt’s a growing institution, and the opportunity to get back in the conference where we had some success when we were at Bluefield was very exciting to me,” Gillespie said in the release. “This is a great area to live in and there are a lot of positives.”
Stearsman spent the past two years as an assistant coach at Gannon University, an NCAA Division II program in Erie, Pa.
He was an assistant coach, and then associate head coach, at NAIA Division I St. Catharine College in Kentucky from 2008-10, where he also served as the head JV coach. Stearsman also served as the assistant men’s basketball coach at NAIA Division I power Oklahoma City University from 2005-07.
“I’ve known about the area and Reinhardt from coaching in the South, and I know the strides the basketball program was making,” Stearsman said in the release.
Reinhardt went 18-12 last season, finishing second in the AAC with an 11-5 record. The Eagles advanced to the AAC tournament championship for the second straight season, but they lost a close decision and fell just short of earning the conference’s automatic bid to the NAIA Division II tournament.