The 46-year-old Reese, who played for Cochran at North Cobb High School before being selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 15th round of the 1983 baseball draft, joined Cochran’s staff this season after a 10-year stint as the head coach at St. Francis High School in Alpharetta.
Attempts to reach Reese for comment were unsuccessful, but he said in a release from Mount Paran that he was looking forward to his new position.
“I am real excited to be at Mount Paran Christian School,” Reese said. “It is a great combination of competitive, challenging baseball with one of the finest Christian schools in the state. I look forward to the opportunity of leading the baseball program at MPCS.”
Since news of Cochran’s contract not being renewed began to surface, Mount Paran athletic director Mitch Jordan has not returned repeated calls from the Marietta Daily Journal, but he said in the school-issued release that he anticipates a smooth transition from one coach to the other.
“We appreciate all that Harvey has done for our varsity baseball program over the last four years,” Jordan said. “Excited about the recent accomplishment of being named region champions and for the prospects of a deep run in the state playoffs this year, we are looking forward to finishing this season in a way that would highlight a successful career for coach Cochran while also serving as a good transition for coach Reese.”
After arriving at St. Francis in 2002, Reese led the Knights to the Class A state tournament three straight years from 2005-07, but his last four years at St. Francis weren’t as successful, compiling a 23-67 record.
Before coaching baseball on the high school level, Reese spent eight years as a minor league player in the Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals organizations. Seeing time predominantly as a catcher, Reese made it as high as the Double-A ranks as a player before serving time as a scout and coach in the Royals’ system.
Reese was seen as one of the leading candidates to replace Cochran after the veteran coach was told last week that the school “wanted to go in a different direction.” Cochran, who is in his fifth season at Mount Paran, had intended to retire after the 2013 season, with Reese the heir apparent to succeed his mentor.
Reese will inherit a talent-laden team next spring. Mount Paran, which is currently 23-2 and has clinched the Region 6A championship, only lists one senior — Tyler Crace — on its roster.
With Reese’s installation as Mount Paran’s future coach, that would bring the number of Cochran proteges-turned-coaches in Cobb County to four. Kennesaw Mountain’s George Hansen, his brother, Allatoona coach Keith Hansen, and Wheeler’s Jeff Milton all played for Cochran at North Cobb.