Friday, May 7th, 2010
Coldwater football coach loses battle with cancer
School official calls his faith, team record unmatched
By Gary R. Rasberry
COLDWATER - Longtime Coldwater head football coach John Reed lost his battle with cancer this morning at the age of 64.
Reed, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer before last fall's state football playoffs, was surrounded by his family when he passed around 3 a.m. this morning.
"With the passing of Coach John Reed today, the entire Coldwater community, and so many communities in this area, lost a great person," Coldwater High School Athletic Director Eric Goodwin wrote in an e-mail this morning. "His strong faith in the Lord, his family and his love of football is unmatched. He will be missed tremendously for what he has done on and off the football field."
Reed spent the last 15 years as head coach at Coldwater, turning the Cavaliers into one of the most dominant programs in the state of Ohio. During his tenure, the Cavaliers went 168-31, winning six Midwest Athletic Conference championships and advancing to the state football championship game five times. They won Division IV state titles in 2005 and 2007. Only once in 15 years did the Cavaliers fail to qualify for the state football playoffs.
In 36 years as a head high school football coach, Reed posted a 283-126-1 record with nine Midwest Athletic Conference football championships. The 283 wins are good for 11th all-time in state history. The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association honored Reed in 2006 with induction into the OHSFCA Hall of Fame.
"As for myself, John was like a father to me as he was to so many others," Goodwin wrote. "When April (Eric's wife) and I first came to Coldwater, John and Jan were the first to greet us and invite us over to dinner. Although he was not originally from Coldwater, he welcomed us to Coldwater himself. I will miss him tremendously."
Two weeks ago at The Ohio State University spring football game, Reed was named the honorary head coach of the Scarlet team, which had three former Cavalier players - Ross Homan, Adam Homan and Tony Harlamert - on the roster. Reed was unable to attend but was mentioned by the Coldwater grads and OSU coach Jim Tressel during and after the game.
"Coach Reed was a mentor of mine, even coming through junior high," Ross Homan, an All-Big Ten selection at linebacker in 2009, said during the OSU spring game press conference. "He always got me in the weight room, working out with the varsity. He took me under his wing. I owe him everything. That's why I'm sitting here talking to you today. He's more than a coach. He's a great person."
Reed is survived by his wife, Jan, and three children as well as his parents, who live in Upper Sandusky and traveled to many of Coldwater's football games over the years.
Arrangements are currently undecided, but Goodwin did say the funeral will be held at The Palace (Coldwater High School gymnasium).
A full obituary will appear in Saturday's Daily Standard.