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Reggie Upshaw’s Rise From MTSU Player to Coach

By MTN Sports Reporter: Ian Wolfe


Murfreesboro, Tenn.- Former MTSU Basketball Player Reggie Upshaw has seen himself go from MTSU player, playing professionally in Europe, and now helping assist his alma mater.


He is a prominent name in Murfreesboro, playing for the Blue Raiders from 2013-2017 and notably scoring the final basket and upsetting Michigan State in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.


Reggie credits a lot of his development to his former head coach Kermit Davis saying, “He helped more than I even realize.” Continuing, “The things he had us doing while I was playing here prepared me for my professional career and holding myself accountable and holding the people around me accountable.”


Senior Guard Elias King felt good about the staff bringing in Reggie and really feels he has helped with his game in Upshaw’s first season. “You see his accomplishments, two back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, so having him on staff is big.” King said. He continues, “He trains me. He tells me how to be an effective college player and I have dreams and aspirations of playing pro so that’s something he’s done, overseas and NBA.”


After his college and professional career closed, he looked to coaching which was always on his mind. “It was something I knew I wanted to do eventually one day. But I didn’t really make my mind up until late August (last year), like okay I’m for sure going to do this.”


Having made up his mind, he reached out to Kermit Davis to get his perspective on how to pursue coaching in college basketball. Kermit directed him to current MTSU head coach, Nick McDevitt.


“He asked me to meet with him and come to a couple of practices to just be around the team and from there Nick and I met in his office.” Reggie said. “He asked if I wanted to make this a full-time thing and just be around the team and help as far as player development.”


Transitioning from being a player and going into coaching can be challenging and Reggie feels he has had to adjust.


“As a player you’re so used to having an impact on the court and now my impact is more on the bench.” Continuing, “It’s just been an adjustment not being able to physically impact the game but I’m trying to do my part as well as the other coaches and preparing the guys to go out and perform every night.”


Reggie mentions there are no limitations in his role in his first year as Coordinator of Player Development and is very involved with the team in his first year being able to teach what he knows and passing on his knowledge to someone else.


Elias King says Reggie has brought a big brother energy to the team and experience. “With a guy like that, he has a lot of experience. He’s done it against some really good teams.” King said. “With him, it’s just trying to pick his brain and seeing how he won all those games.”


The staff has done a good job helping him develop as a coach according to Upshaw. “They’ve definitely taught me a lot. They taught me a lot about patience because as a player you have to learn things on the fly.” Upshaw said. “Learning the patience of repeating yourself (as a coach) over and over and making sure a guy actually knows what’s going on.”


Reggie’s out look on his future in coaching is season-by-season and just wants to continue doing it wherever he’s at. “Down the road I’d love to be an assistant. I’d love to stay in the same player development role.” Upshaw said. Continuing, “I think a lot of colleges need guys with professional experience to come back and really teach the small details of the game to individuals.”


Photo Credits: MT Athletics

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