Jerry Reese played four years with the Pacers football team establishing him as one of the top defensive backs in UT Martin history. Reese gained the reputation of being one of the hardest hitters in the Gulf-South Conference despite playing in the 160-pound range. Reese was named to the second team All-GSC Decade team for the 1980's as selected by administrators and representatives from across the league's region. He lead the GSC in interceptions as a sophomore, was twice All-Conference and GSC Defensive Player of the Week three times during his career.
Following his playing days, Reese stayed with the program as a student coach, graduate assistant and full-time coach. He was named assistant head coach in 1993.