Empire State College
Reggie Witherspoon, who boasts nearly 30 years of coaching basketball, joined the Alabama basketball program in April of 2014. Most recently, Witherspoon spent 14 years (1999-2013) as head coach at the University of Buffalo.
"I am excited to announce the addition of Reggie Witherspoon to our coaching staff," Grant said. "Reggie brings a wealth of experience and coaching expertise. His abilities in developing talent and teaching the game are highly respected amongst his peers. His knowledge, combined with his impeccable character and ability to relate to and connect with people will make his transition seamless."
As the head coach at Buffalo, Witherspoon took a once struggling basketball program to new heights, leading the Bulls to 17 or more wins in seven of his final 10 seasons. Prior to his arrival, Buffalo won 17 games just nine times over the first 85 years of the program. He went on to finish his career tied for second in Buffalo program history with 198 wins (198-228).
"My wife and I are very excited to come to the University of Alabama," Witherspoon said. "I am looking forward to working with coach Grant and being a part of the rich tradition of Alabama men's basketball, as well as its storied and nationally recognized athletics program. Having seen the success that coach Grant has had as a basketball coach, it's very exciting for us to be connected with him, his family and the way he coaches the game. This is a terrific opportunity and I am really looking forward to continuing my coaching career at Alabama."
Current UConn Athletics Director Warde Manuel, who was the AD at Buffalo from 2006-12 and worked closely with Witherspoon during that time, also had glowing remarks to say about the new Alabama assistant coach.
"Reggie Witherspoon is an outstanding coach and an even better person," Manuel said. "Reggie is someone who can recruit and coach at the highest levels. Anthony Grant has gained a valuable addition to his staff."
Witherspoon began his career at Buffalo as interim coach, which began five games into the 1999-00 season, before earning the position on a permanent basis in 2000. During his tenure, he was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year on two occasions, (2004 by the league and 2012 by CollegeSportsMadness.com), Mid-Major Coach of the Year (2004 by collegeinsider.com) and twice tabbed as an NABC District Coach of the Year (2005 and 2009). He led his teams to seven winning campaigns, including four seasons of 20 or more victories, and four postseason berths.
Prior to his time at the University of Buffalo, Witherspoon spent 14 years at the collegiate and high school levels where he enjoyed considerable success. He spent two-plus seasons at Erie Community College (1997-99), where he produced a 44-23 record and, in 1998-99, earned Region III Division I Coach of the Year honors after leading the Kats to a 24-5 record and a Region III title.
In his first season at Erie CC, Witherspoon led the program to a 19-10 record and was named Western New York Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, an honor he repeated in the 1998-99 season as well. During his tenure at ECC, Witherspoon produced four Division I players, two All-Americans and one Academic All-American.
Prior to his stint at Erie CC, Witherspoon spent a total of 13 years at Sweet Home High School, eight as an assistant and five as head coach. During his five years as head coach, his teams won four straight divisional championships, the first and only time that happened in school history. He was the first African American to be named head coach of a varsity sports program in any Western New York Suburban School District.
Witherspoon earned his associate's degree from Erie Community College and bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Empire State College. While at Erie Community College, he played for current Michigan head coach John Beilien.
Witherspoon and his wife, the former Dawn Taggart, have two daughters: Lydia (21) and Rachel (20).