Little did Fletcher Reed know that when he was coaching Snyder in the state basketball semifinals, he was also taking part in a job interview of sorts.
Reed on Wednesday night was named the new boys basketball coach at Garber High School when that district’s board of education unanimously approved the move.
He takes over for Will Jones, who coached the program for four seasons.
His tenure culminated with the 2020 Class A state championship and a runner-up trophy in 2021.
Jones, also Garber’s superintendent, stepped down from his basketball job shortly after the season ended and Reed was someone he had his mind on to take his place.
And it was mostly from what he witnessed a couple weeks prior at The Big House.
“I didn’t know much about him before the season,” Jones admits about Reed.
For good reason.
Reed was just in his second year as head coach at Snyder. Prior to that, he spent one season as a graduate assistant at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
In the high school coaching landscape, he was still getting his feet wet.
“Then I started hearing some rumbles about maybe Snyder being a contender from down in that part of the state,” Jones added.
Snyder finished the regular season 14-2 and was ranked 11th.
The playoffs hit and, in the regional, the Cyclones beat No. 7 Caddo.
In the area final, they were even more impressive as they handily beat No. 1 Fort Cobb-Broxton to earn their first trip to state since 2015.
“When I saw they beat Fort Cobb, I thought, ‘OK, there’s another bully on the block now’ and I really perked up,” Jones said.
He got some film on Snyder and was immediately struck by what he saw.
“I loved the edge his team played with,” Jones said. “They came out swinging every night.”
As Jones was coaching Garber through the Class A state bracket, he spent his time scouting future foes.
That included the semifinal matchup between Snyder and Hydro-Eakly.
Hydro-Eakly won - just as it did the next night against Garber - but not without being taken into overtime.
Jones was sold by what he saw on the court and on Snyder’s sideline.
“There was this really well-dressed, young guy,” Jones said. “But beneath that surface of those nice clothes was a fighter.
“He’s a young coach, but he doesn’t coach young.”
A Hobart native, Reed said he struggled with the choice to leave Snyder, but called Garber “the right fit.”
“Just watching Garber the last two or three years and seeing how they compete at a high level every night really intrigued me,” Reed said. “Their kids seem coachable and they’re very competitive and I know the community support is outstanding.
“And also, in getting to know Coach Jones, I knew he’d be great to work for.”
As he was coaching at the state tournament, Reed was quite unaware that Jones might have had some future plans for him.
“We were just in the midst of a playoff run and trying to do the best job to put ourselves in a position to win,” he said. “So I didn’t think of it that way, but when you put it that way, it’s cool to think about.”
Now Reed gets to think about taking from Jones the torch of a program that’s been to state three years in a row and won 84 percent of its games during that stretch.
Jones is confident he’s found the coach to do it.
“A goal of mine was to make sure the program didn’t take a step back,” he said. “We’ve built a good foundation here. I’m excited to see how high he can take it.”