Jackson State University went looking for a new direction for its women's basketball program after former head coach Surina Dixon posted an 82-93 overall record, a 55-53 record in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and a 1-3 record in the conference's tournament over six seasons at the helm.
The Tigers didn't have to look far to find a new leader for the program. On Monday, April 16, JSU named Tomekia Reed, the former head coach at Hinds Community College in Utica, as the Tigers' new head coach.
The Jackson, Miss., native, took over a Hinds program that went 2-21 before she arrived to rebuild it.
During her first year at Hinds, the 2015-2016 season, Reed led the team to a 10-13 record overall and 4-10 in conference play. She completed the rebuilding job by the next season, as the Bulldogs (other Hinds' sports teams are called the Eagles) went 21-7 overall and 10-4 in conference games. Hinds reached the Region 23 title game in 2017.
Under Reed, Hinds finished this past season with a 16-9 overall record and reached the Region 23 Tournament for second year in a row. The Bulldogs fell in the first round of the tournament in early March, marking Reed's final game at Hinds.
Before entering into the coaching world, Reed was a standout athlete at Murrah High School and committed to the University of Southern Mississippi. She spent the 1999-2000 season playing for the Golden Eagles and helped USM reach the Women's NIT, earning the title of Most Improved Player.
She transferred to Hinds for the 2000-2001 season season and led the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges in rebounds and came in second in the MACJC in scoring. While at Hinds she was named MACJC Most Valuable Player. She earned her associate's degree in sports medicine from the junior college.
Reed finished her college playing career at Georgia Southwestern State University. She led the team in scoring, finished second in the conference in scoring, and earned the title of MVP. While there, she earned her bachelor's degree in exercise science.
In 2004, Reed began her college coaching career at South Georgia Technical College as recruiting coordinator and stayed until 2006. Reed helped land two of Georgia's top high-school players and one Mississippi Dandy Dozen high-school player while at the school.
She then became the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Jackson State from 2006 to 2009. During her time there, the Tigers won the regular-season SWAC title in 2006 and reached the WNIT. JSU won the SWAC Tournament title in 2007 and reached the NCAA Tournament. Reed coaching up 2006-2007 SWAC Player of the Year Shelita Barnes.
Her next stop was the University of Louisiana Lafayette for just one season before returning to USM as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. She helped Southern Miss sign the No. 1-ranked class in Mississippi in 2010 and 2011, and the 42nd ranked class in the nation in 2010.
She then spent 2013-2014 at Louisiana Tech University, where she helped the Bulldogs land a top-50 recruiting class and the No. 2 class in Conference USA. After that, Reed spent just one season at the University of New Orleans before performing her outstanding turnaround at Hinds.