FH hoops coach Reynoso with team

The Foothill College men’s basketball team – including new head coach Mike Reynoso, front at right – gather after volunteering with other community members at a food drive in Redwood City in August.

Mike Reynoso has coached basketball at several schools over the past decade, but his new position as head coach of the Foothill College men’s team is unlike his previous jobs. Reynoso once played for the Owls.

“It felt like home when I walked into the gym and turned the lights on,” he said. “It was a surreal feeling.”

Reynoso spent his redshirt year (2002-03) at Foothill when Shanan Rosenberg was the head coach. Reynoso is replacing Rosenberg’s successor, Matt Stanley, who has relocated to Chico after seven years leading the Owls.

Reynoso, hired in May, has some history with Stanley, too.

“I was his assistant at Cañada (College) for two seasons,” he said. “I know him well.”

When Stanley left for Foothill in 2013, Reynoso took over the Cañada men’s team. In his second season at the helm, the Colts made it to the state final four and Reynoso was named Northern California Coach of the Year by the California Community College Men’s Basketball Association. After five seasons, Reynoso stepped down in 2018 to devote more time to his basketball training business, he said.

Returning to the sidelines

The Serra High graduate didn’t stop coaching for long, however. Reynoso joined the Menlo School boys basketball program as an assistant in 2019, serving under Keith Larsen for two seasons.

“It’s a wonderful community,” Reynoso said of Menlo, “and (the position) fit with my schedule.”

That schedule not only included his primary job – teaching middle school PE in Redwood City – but also growing his business training players, from high school to pro. In addition, he and his wife, Carol, are parents to three young children.

Time management won’t get any easier as a head coach, particularly during the season, but Reynoso couldn’t pass up the chance to return to Foothill after athletic director Mike Teijeiro reached out to him.

“Mike called and everything fit,” Reynoso said. “I want to create opportunities for guys to be successful, and my vision aligns with the school’s.”

Reynoso’s job interview essentially sealed the deal, according to Teijeiro.

“Mike’s competitive nature, his attention to detail and his passion to mentor student-athletes was a separator,” he said.

Picking up the pace

Under Reynoso, expect the Owls to play up-tempo basketball on offense and in-your-face defense.

“Offensively, we’ll look for opportunities in transition – push the ball up the floor and try to get easy shots in transition,” he said. “Defensively, we’ll get after it – pressure the heck out of the ball and limit dribble penetration.”

Reynoso has been developing his coaching philosophy since his college days. After transferring from Foothill to San Diego State, he landed his first coaching job as an assistant at La Jolla High. Once Reynoso returned to the Bay Area, he was hired as an assistant coach at Woodside High. Just two years later, at age 23, he became the youngest head coach in the history of the Woodside boys basketball program. Four years later, he moved on to Cañada.

At Foothill, Reynoso takes over a team that didn’t play last season due to the pandemic. The year prior, the Owls made the playoffs but lost in the first round.

Starting from scratch

Foothill doesn’t return a single player from the 2019-20 squad, according to Reynoso, but the roster does include two members of the 2018-19 team.

“It’s exciting to start from scratch,” the coach said. “We’re still in the building stage, but the team is coming together.”

Reynoso has been working with the players since July; they are enrolled in his summer basketball class at Foothill that he said “will get them in shape and ready for college basketball.” Official practices begin Oct. 1 and the season tips off Nov. 5.

So far, the coach likes what he sees.

“We have a really good group,” he said. “I think we have a good team, and we’re one or two pieces from being a really good team – top 10 in the state, if we put it all together.”

Off the court, Reynoso encourages his team to volunteer together in the community. Last month, he said the players and coaches helped with a food drive in Redwood City.

“Community service is important to me,” he added.