Eads replace former coach Dean McGuire

REED CITY — It’s still football season at Reed City.

But when boys basketball practice begins later this month, a new face will be coaching the Coyotes.

Athletic Director Kris Griffin confirmed Monday that at next week’s Board of Education meeting, JJ Eads will be recommended to be the new boys varsity basketball coach.

He replaces four-year coach Dean McGuire, who resigned the position last month.

“He has lots of coaching experience, is a Reed City grad and is excited about the opportunity,” Griffin said of Eads. “He is teaching (English) at the high school.”

Eads was slated to be the Reed City junior varsity girls basketball coach, but will resign that spot to take the boys position.

“The more I took the time to think about it, I looked at it as an opportunity,” he said. “It’s not often you get to coach in your hometown where you played. I love basketball and I love Reed City, so I thought I’d go for it.”

Practices start on Monday, but many players slated to be on the varsity squad are still playing football. Reed City is home at 5 p.m. on Saturday against Menominee in the Division 5 football regional final.

Regardless of what happens, Eads acknowledged it will be difficult to get a full team going into the practice mode by next Monday. There may be some type of practices taking place with available players, even if the football season continues into next week.

The first game is Dec. 6 at Cadillac.

“I haven’t had a chance to meet with the boys team yet,” Eads said.

The Coyotes are slated to only have four returning players with Brandon Evans, Karsten Koopman, Logan Straub and Trent Sturgell.

Provided Eads is appointed by the school board, James Sabo will be his assistant.

Eads acknowledges he’s not sure yet what his squad’s prospects will be until he has a chance to be with his full team. He said McGuire had a scrimmage schedule set up and he’s looking to have a set preseason schedule.

Eads, prior to this season, was at Big Rapids Crossroads Charter Academy for 12 years including 11 as head girls varsity coach. The Cougars won seven West Michigan D League titles.

Eads graduated in 1994 from Reed City and played for the 1993 team that went to the state quarterfinals. He also played golf. His father Dwight Eads, coached JV girls basketball and track at Reed City.

McGuire also is Reed City Middle School principal. He declined to elaborate on his decision to resign the boys coaching position. Prior to taking the job, he had coached Reed City basketball in various capacities and soccer in the past.

McGuire said he worked with the team during the offseason, including the summer, to get it ready for the 2016-17 campaign. He said winning the 2015 Class B district title, was perhaps the biggest highlight in his tenure. The Coyotes continued to have a keen rivalry with Big Rapids during those seasons.