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Passing Passion for Basketball on to Others; Tim Redding ’01
When Tim Redding ’01 was in seventh grade he was diagnosed with melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Because of surgery and skin testing he wasn’t able to play basketball for a while. It was then that he realized just how much the game meant to him.
“That was the point in my life when my competitiveness and passion for basketball started. I really wanted to play that year and couldn’t,” says Redding. “When something is taken from you, you want it more.”
In October 2008, just three weeks before the basketball season was scheduled to begin, Redding was named head coach of the Reading High School boys’ basketball team. As if coming in so late wasn’t challenging enough, he also had a lot to live up to: he followed a 30-1 season. But Redding’s Red Knights won 20 games, became county champions, and went on to the second round of the district tournament before the season ended.
“After a 30-1 season the year before, and no preseason before I took over as head coach, I expected a rough transition,” Redding says. “Our team lacked chemistry at times, and our rotation was fluid with multiple discipline issues.”
This year, Redding says, he is looking forward to having more time to make adjustments. “Once that desire for continual improvement sets in, watch out for the Red Knights,” he says. “Our goals are to win districts and then hopefully go far in the state tournament.” And he hopes to do it by drawing on the coaching styles of his many mentors.
Although he came to Albright to play football in fall 1997, Redding ended up playing basketball and running track. As a sophomore he was a walk-on with the Albright basketball team, and soon after decided that he wanted to be a coach.
He worked at basketball camps in the summer at major universities such as Wake Forest, Maryland, Villanova, West Virginia and The U.S. Naval Academy. Some great coaches were his mentors, including former Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser, Villanova’s Jay Wright, and Morgan Wootten of DeMatha High School in Maryland, who is also in the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Those three coaches taught me the most. I wanted to learn from the best,” he says.
After graduation, Redding did postgraduate work for a year at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he served as a “house intern” for the men’s basketball team. He also logged time as an assistant coach at Division II Shepherd University, where he worked for former Albright basketball coach and mentor Ken Tyler; at Cabrini College; and for the Reading Railers professional men’s basketball team.
But just as his love of coaching grew, so too did his love of teaching. In 2004 he went back to school to take graduate courses at Albright to earn his teaching certification.
Now a ninth-grade English teacher at Reading High, Redding brings a “family mentality” to his basketball team, and his players know that it isn’t about how many games they’ve won, its more about doing their best. “A fundamental approach to working hard and earning success must be stressed,” Redding says. “What we are trying to do is get the student-athletes ready for the next level and then, life.”
Redding has been blessed with great teachers and coaches throughout his life, he says. “The things they taught me live on through what I teach my students and players.”
– Scott Myers ’09