In leaving Georgia Tech, Eric Reveno wanting to ‘shake things up a little bit’

Georgia Tech assistant coach Eric Reveno with Yellow Jackets center James Banks during a Feb. 25, 2020 game at McCamish Pavilion.

Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics/Clyde Clik

Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics/Clyde Clik

Georgia Tech assistant coach Eric Reveno with Yellow Jackets center James Banks during a Feb. 25, 2020 game at McCamish Pavilion.

While eager to begin a new chapter at Oregon State, former Georgia Tech associate head coach Eric Reveno felt the weight of what he was leaving behind. In six seasons at Tech with coach Josh Pastner, Reveno formed a strong bond with Tech and Atlanta. He’ll have the same job title at Oregon State.

“For me personally, part of me is concerned maybe I’m messing with a really good thing,” Reveno said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Because I really enjoyed Georgia Tech and Atlanta and coach Pastner and the staff and the players. But at the same time, it’s almost like the last couple years, because of COVID, were sort of on standstill. All of the sudden, I’ve been there six years, and it’s time to maybe shake things up a little bit and give myself another opportunity, so we’ll see.”

Reveno was the lone remaining member of Pastner’s original coaching staff when he decided to accept Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle’s offer to join his staff after he fired two assistants following the Beavers’ 3-28 season. The hire became public last Tuesday. For Reveno, it is a return to the West Coast, where he grew up and where he had been for the whole of his coaching career before he was hired at Tech in 2016 following his dismissal as head coach at Portland. Further, his parents are in Arizona and he has a daughter at Stanford. He has known Tinkle since they were on the same AAU team prior to their senior year in high school.

“So I’ve known him, and we’ve talked before and then this opportunity came,” Reveno said. “They had a great year two years ago and a bad year last year. We talked. It was just an opportunity to get back to the Pac-12 and the West Coast.”

It is his hope, too, that being closer to his professional networks will help him in his attempt to be a head coach again. He served as Portland’s head coach for 10 seasons. Still, he expressed his optimism for where Pastner’s team is headed. He said he would miss coaching Tech’s post players, Rodney Howard and Jordan Meka. He said he jokingly told former center Saba Gigiberia that he might have stayed if he had known Gigiberia was going to go in the transfer portal.

“Bless his heart, he’s a handful, but he’s a good kid,” Reveno said of Gigiberia. “Rodney and Jordan Meka – just some really good guys and I’m excited about what they’ve got going on here.”

Reveno said he would take a lot of memories and good relationships that he formed at Tech not only within the team and the athletic department but across campus.

“I got to know all kinds of people,” Reveno said. “It was a very rewarding community to be a part of.”

Pastner said that he would not begin searching in earnest for Reveno’s successor until May. He said he would not be bound to find a coach with Reveno’s distinctives, such as his experience as a head coach or his expertise in coaching post players.

“I’m going to try to get the right fit, what I think is best for Georgia Tech, best for the program, best for future student-athletes, current student-athletes,” Pastner told the AJC. “Whether the individual is a head coach or not or a prior head coach or not, that’s not going to factor in it.”

He felt similarly about Reveno’s background in coaching bigs, though it was a strength that he brought to the staff, as he developed Ben Lammers, James Banks and Moses Wright before taking on Howard.

“I think if you’re a coach, you’re a coach, especially in basketball,” Pastner said. “You’ve got to be able to coach all positions – guards, wings, bigs, it doesn’t matter.”