Former CMU, Saint Vincent assistant ready to attack Franklin Regional basketball job

Monday, August 2, 2021 | 9:29 PM

Asked if he is ready to become a head basketball coach, Jesse Reed answered like he was finishing an alley-oop with authority.


Reed was hired Monday night to be the next boys coach at Franklin Regional, replacing Steve Scorpion, who was not retained after four seasons.

After a pair of two-year stints as a college assistant at Carnegie Mellon and Saint Vincent, the latter as a grad assistant, Reed, 28, is ready to get started and build on the culture Scorpion helped to form.

“It’s time for me,” Reed said. “When the job opened, I attacked it 110%. When the opportunity came up, I talked to a lot of my past coaches and my family to help prepare me for the interview.”

Reed was a standout player at Saltsburg, Greensburg Central Catholic and The Kiski School, finishing one shy of 1,600 career points. He went on to be a 1,400-point college scorer and an all-conference player at American before a pro stint in Luxemborg, where he also was a double-digit scorer.

He now works for Sebak Insurance — at the company’s Murrysville branch, no less — so he will be close to the school on a daily basis.

“I hope to continue the success (at Franklin Regional),” Reed said. “I want to be a mentor to the kids about basketball and life. I learned a lot along the way (as a player and coach). The game has taken me farther than I ever thought I’d go.”

Reed said he will pick and choose philosophies and techniques he learned from his coaches over the years, from Greg Bisignani and Bill Swan at GCC, to DP Harris at Saint Vincent.

“When I was at Saint Vincent, D let me operate like I was a regular assistant,” Reed said.

After watching some game film from last year, Reed knows the players he won’t be coaching. Several seniors who have moved on from the program. But he is eyeing the next wave of talent, including players such as returnees Caden Smith, who will be a senior, and sophomore Cam Rowell.

“I also saw some young guys who are grinders,” he said. “I’m excited to meet them and get started.”

As far as a style of play, Reed said he’d like to go up-tempo but won’t force the issue.

“At SVC, we led the PAC in scoring, so I am going to bring some schemes from there with me,” he said. “We’ll see what works. I want to put some stuff in, but I don’t want to overwhelm the kids, either.”

Scorpion, who continues to recover from an opioid overdose that nearly took his life, was gracious in welcoming the new man who is about to oversee his second family.

Scorpion has cleaned up his life and is focused on taking care of his budding family. He is aiming for a return to coaching down the road.

“I hope he does a good job and that they keep being successful,” Scorpion said of Reed. “I wish him and the team nothing but the best.”

Reed, who has encountered Scorpion only a few times, reciprocated by offering well wishes to his predecessor.

“People have nothing but good things to say about Scorp,” Reed said. “I hope he gets back on the road to where he wants to be.”

Reed has plans to bring in two assistants with Saint Vincent ties to join him — “SVC blood,” as he said. He also wants to carry over longtime Panthers assistant Joe McGinn, who has assisted under four head coaches at Franklin Regional since 1996.

McGinn has kept an eye on the program in Scorpion’s absence over the summer.

The fall league will be high on Reed’s priority list as he gets somewhat of a late start to summer workouts.

“Do I wish I had another month to work with these guys? Sure,” he said. “But we’ll be all right. We won’t be behind.”

Scorpion was 53-34 and led the Panthers to four straight WPIAL Class 5A playoff appearances, including a runner-up finish.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .


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