Jackson State University head women’s basketball coach Tomekia Reed gives insight on what it’s like coaching at an HBCU in recent tweets.
Amid discussions about the challenges coaches at histocially Black colleges and universities face, two-time SWAC Coach of The Year, Tomekia Reed stepped in to set the record straight in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
“Coaching at an HBCU is not for the weak,” she wrote. “You’re going to fight battles internally and externally. And if your program experiences any type of success, it will be even harder. I chose to come back for the fight. To truly even the playing field and do something that’s never been done.”
In four seasons as head coach, Tomekia Reed has led the Jacskon State women’s basketball team to three straight SWAC regular season titles and two straight SWAC tournament titles and NCAA appearances.
“You have to earn stripes to speak publicly about this struggle. If you aren’t willing to roll up your sleeves, make a difference and demand others to respect us, not by words but by actions, then get out of the way. We got something to do! Our work here is bigger than us” she continued in another tweet.
Her comments come just days after new Bethune-Cookman head coach Ed Reed posted videos to social media ranting about the state of HBCUs and criticizing the conditions of the university.
“I really wish we had someone filming a documentary of what goes on behind closed doors,” she said. “The opportunities we provide to players someone else mishandled, the lives we save, the support we provide, the way we get these players ready for competition with limited resources. Its tough.”
In response to a user asking why HBCU coaches must settle for less, as well as questioning the living conditions at HBCUs, Reed responded: “I can’t speak on that. That’s not my experience or struggle. I didn’t accept a job that was a sacrifice or accept less than. I accepted an opportunity to stamp a place with already great winning tradition. With respect, if you don’t see it, try not to speak on it.”