After The Whistle: Few have ever done it as well as Reed

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Coldwater’s John Reed ends his career with 283 career wins and nine MAC titles. (Photo by Nick Falzerano/miamivalleysports.com)

On a night when Coldwater High School welcomes two new varsity
coaches, it will say good-bye to one of its most successful ever. Cavalier football coach John Reed’s resignation will officially be
accepted Tuesday night
at the Coldwater Board of Education meeting. With
it comes closure on one of the most successful careers in Ohio high
school football history.


Reed_MVP_final

On a night when Coldwater High School welcomes two new varsity coaches, it will say good-bye to one of its most successful ever.

Cavalier football coach John Reed’s resignation will officially be accepted Tuesday night at the Coldwater Board of Education meeting. With it comes closure on one of the most successful careers in Ohio high school football history.

Diagnosed with esophageal cancer in November, Reed put off receiving chemotherapy treatments until the Cavaliers postseason run was over. Coldwater lost 55-25 in the Division V state final on Dec. 4. That was a Friday. Reed started chemo the ensuing Monday.

After several treatments over the last few months, the realization is that the cancer has spread and is terminal. Reed will battle as long as he can. His legacy will resonate forever.

Few others have ever done it as well as Reed.

An Upper Sandusky native, Reed’s run includes stints at Parkway, Upper Sandusky, Marion Harding and Lebanon. His claim to fame, though, is what he’s done with the Cavaliers.

One of the state’s winningest coaches all-time (283-126-1), the majority of Reed’s wins (168) have come with the Cavaliers. Since he started at Coldwater in 1995, the Cavaliers have lost just 31 games. In the last 10 years, Coldwater has dropped just seven regular season games, five of which were to eventual state champions.

Just how hard was it to beat Coldwater while Reed was in charge? Consider:

Of the 31 games Coldwater lost under Reed, 15 were to teams that won state titles, five were to teams that finished state runner-up, six were to teams that made the state semifinals and three more were to teams that made the playoffs. Only two of Reed’s losses at Coldwater came against opponents who did not make the postseason (that means teams that beat Coldwater during his stay had a 94-percent chance of making the playoffs…65-percent had a chance of playing for a state title).

Coldwater’s own postseason success under Reed, whose playoff record is 36-12, is impressive as well. In 15 years, he led Coldwater to 14 playoff berths, including 13 straight. Eight times the Cavs have made the state semifinals. Five times they’ve played for the title.

And in regards to titles, no coach owns more Midwest Athletic Conference championships than Reed.

The state’s toughest small school conference – and the state’s most competitive football affiliation – the MAC has seen its share of great coaches: Al Hetrick (Versailles), Tim Boeckman (St. Henry), Tim Goodwin (Marion Local), Todd Shulte (Delphos St. John’s), Vic Whiting (DSJ), Ken Meyer (Minster)…the list goes on.

None, tough, have accomplished what Reed has in-house.

With his stay at Coldwater combined with his three years at Parkway (where Reed led the Panthers to their only three MAC titles in history from 1973-75), Reed ranks No. 1 in MAC wins with 197. He’s also No. 1 in MAC titles with nine. Boeckman is second in both categories with 195 and seven, respectively.

Since 1995, Coldwater has finished either first or second in the MAC 14 times. Once it was third.

Overall, Reed went 102-14 in the MAC in his 15 years at Coldwater and was 70-4 (.946 win percentage) alone the last nine seasons.

While there is NO replacement for Reed, expect Coldwater in fill the position in-house. That’s what the Cavs will do with two other openings Tuesday.

Coldwater grad and former state qualifier Rob Schmidt will be taking over for Chuck Alig who was the Coldwater wrestling coach for the past 12 years. Schmidt has been the varsity assistant at Coldwater for the past 25 years and has been involved with the program for 31 straight.

Mike Bruns will be introduced as the new boys basketball coach, taking over for Mike Kanney who was there the past 5 years. Bruns was the varsity assistant under Kanney and prior to that spent nine years under another CHS legend Jim Niekamp.

Schmidt and Bruns would both like to have the impact on their programs that Reed had on his.

In the 15 years prior to Reed’s arrival at Coldwater, the Cavs won 82 games and owned one playoff berth. In the 15 years Reed spent stalking the sidelines, Coldwater won 168 games and made 14 postseason appearances.

Again, few others have ever done it as well as Reed.

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