Former Smithsburg football coach Reid dies

March 29, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

SMITHSBURG -- Carroll Reid will be remembered for the 206 victories and four state titles he racked up as the head coach of the Smithsburg High School football team between 1967 and 1997.

Those who knew him will remember him for so much more.

Reid, who battled cancer for more than half his life, died at his Smithsburg home Sunday afternoon. He was 80.

"He was able to relate life to football and football to life -- how to never give up on the football field and never give up in life," said Brian Smith, a 1990 Smithsburg graduate who played football for Reid and later became one of his assistant coaches. "He knew how to get the most out of everyone, that if everyone works together, you can accomplish anything."

Reid moved from Virginia to Smithsburg in 1967 -- the same year he started the varsity football program at Smithsburg and the same year he was diagnosed with cancer.


"That's pretty amazing, isn't it?" said Andy Reid, one of Carroll Reid's four children. "He was a fighter. He just refused to let it beat him."

His Leopards were tough to beat, too.

He guided them to state titles in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1994, and retired with a 206-103-2 career record, having put Smithsburg on the map.

"He loved Smithsburg, period," Andy Reid said. "When he was first hired here, he was asked to make the school the centerpiece of the community. Not long ago, Dad said, 'I think we accomplished that. We made the community a winner through the school.' And he didn't do it by himself. He had an awful lot of help. He'd be the first to tell you that."

Buddy Orndorff, the current Smithsburg football coach, assisted Reid for 23 years before taking over the program when Reid stepped down in 1997. Orndorff said the two "always had a father-son relationship."

"He taught me a lot about football and a lot about a lot of things," Orndorff said. "We spent a lot of time together."

He said they spent more time together than some people predicted.

"I've been at Smithsburg for 34 years, and (Reid) was dying when I came here," Orndorff said. "When I first got here, people said to pay attention to what this man is teaching because he might not be around long. A lot of people were wrong because he was around for a long time. He just kept battling until the end."

Reid also started the varsity track and field program at Smithsburg, and led the boys team to a state title in 1976.

"What people probably don't remember is that he was a heck of a track coach," Orndorff said.

What Orndorff said he will remember most is the Friday night last October when Reid was honored at Smithsburg at the conclusion of the Leopards' 49-14 victory over Brunswick (Md).

"I was really happy that our kids were able to gather around him with thousands of other well-wishers and just grasp the moment," Orndorff said.

In December, the Washington County Board of Education voted to name the Smithsburg athletic field after Reid.

Reid is survived by his wife, Virginia, their four children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Andy Reid said Sunday evening that there will be a family-only funeral service. He said a memorial service for the public will be held at a time yet to be determined, most likely at Smithsburg High School.

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