BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Thirteen days are what’s left for Biloxi head boys track & field coach, Michael Reese, to celebrate a remarkable 32-year career at Biloxi Public Schools, filled with triumph, dedication and service.
“You get to a certain point where you’ve reached the bar and you surpassed the bar," Reese told WLOX.
"There’s really nothing else that you can do except to move on into new challenges.”
After leading the Biloxi boys track team to another district title - the Indians sixth in a row - and a Top-10 finish in the state championships, Reese is calling it a career. From serving in different roles at Biloxi Public Schools as a football, ninth grade and assistant varsity basketball coach, his finest moment came in 2009 as an educator.
“I won my 9th grade championship, the varsity won the state championship, and I also was awarded the State of Mississippi Comprehensive Health Teacher of the Year," Reese said.
"To me, we’re not here for just coaching, I was out here to make an impact in the classroom.”
An impact that’s left quite the impression on athletes at Indian Nation.
“It’s fun running for him, because he has your best interest is in mind," senior 400-meter runner and Azusa Pacific signee Roshaun Jones told WLOX.
"He’s always going to make sure you’re okay and he just pushes you.”
“He always put a smile on your face. No matter what he’s saying or doing, encouraging or making you laugh, he just always puts a smile on your face," senior wide receiver and Coahoma College signee Jordan Montgomery told WLOX. Reese has been Jordan’s coach for his entire high school career, coaching Montgomery in football, basketball, and track.
"Obviously, he’s been coaching here for awhile and it’s just real special that he’s able to finish out. He helped out in all the sports that I did so he’s always been really special to me.”
“What I’m going to miss the most is probably his bus driving ability," Frank Floyd, senior long distance runner, told WLOX laughingly.
"Coming back on those long trips he knows how to whip the bus. We get back super quick, but overall, he truly knows what he’s talking about. If he tells you you’re going to be top three in the state, you’re top three in the state. He’s always been there for us and he’s a fantastic coach.”
A coach who brought the boys track team from 25th to 4th overall in the state championships in 2017, but a leader who’s taught young men how to be champions, not only on the field, court, and classroom, but in life as well.
“I’ve learned to take my losses, but I’ve also learned to be a champion," Reese told WLOX. I was a champion when I came in and I’m leaving out as a champion.”