May 31, 2012
Like Father, Like Son
By Phil Stanton
will be a homecoming of sorts this weekend for Army associate
head coach Matt Reid (left) as the Black Knights travel to the
Commonwealth of Virginia for the NCAA Tournament.
Reid played baseball at the University of
Richmond while his father, Jim, was head football coach for the
Spiders. Jim is now defensive coordinator at the University of
Virginia, the host school for the Charlottesville Regional.
Fourth-seeded Army will face the top-seeded Cavaliers on Friday
at 4 p.m. at Davenport Stadium, their first meeting in nearly
100 years. Second-seeded Oklahoma will meet No. 3 Appalachian
State at 8 p.m.
“I knew my family was going to be excited,” Matt
Reid said. “And the texts started coming right off the bat from
my mom, my dad, my sister. I was thinking what a great place to
go. I know how awesome the atmosphere is at those games. I knew
our guys were really going to enjoy it.”
Jim Reid was with his wife, Judy, and daughter,
Molly, during the selection show.
“We started yelling and screaming,” Jim Reid
said. “People came running over. They thought somebody was
hurting us. It was just awesome. My father is 88 years old and
where Matthew is staying is about 100 yards from where he is.
You couldn’t have planned it any better. It’s remarkable.”
is there any question about whom the elder Coach Reid (left)
will be rooting for on Friday?
“I told Matthew there are two things here,” Jim
Reid said. “Blood’s thicker than water, and he said ‘Dad, I knew
you’d say that.’ And I said, “Hold on, son, because you never
want to bite the hand that feeds you.’
“I told my father I think this is one with no
cheering, we’re just going to watch this game. I know that will
last about three seconds. It’s so much fun. I know how hard he
works with those guys, and I know how much respect and love he
has for his players because I listen to it every day when he
calls me. It’s just terrific.”
Now in his fifth season at Army, the younger
Coach Reid played four years with the Spiders and was the
starting second baseman as a junior and senior. He was a member
of two NCAA Regional teams and was a captain during his senior
season. Reid received a Bachelor’s degree in sports
He wasn’t sure he was going to go into coaching,
but he knew that he wanted to be involved in athletics.
always wanted to be involved in sports,” Matt Reid said.
“Growing up I went to every practice when I could, running
around, filling up water, getting the bags where they needed to
be for drills for the football team. I loved being around it.
“Close to when I was graduating from Richmond,
Tom Slater gave me an opportunity to be a volunteer coach at
VMI, and that’s when I really thought I want to do this. I
thought it would be fun, to stay around the game and work with
young men, be around the game, recruiting, travel, getting to
The younger Reid served as an assistant at VMI
and Louisburg (N.C.) before serving as an administrative
assistant with the VCU baseball team while earned a Master’s
degree in Sports Leadership.
“I learned a lot,” the baseball coach said of his
football father. “I learned that you have to work hard, spend a
lot of nights in the office. I never knew what he was doing, but
now I know. I learned how to talk to people, relate to people. I
learned a lot about the recruiting process, listening to him
talk on the phone, talking with parents and players. I learned
watching him coach on the field and not just him, but all of his
assistants, the way they went about their business. I picked up
things as a kid and as I grew up.”
In the CollegeBaseballInsider.com preseason
questionnaire, Reid tied with Scott Heather of Bucknell as
Patriot League assistant coaches most ready for a head coaching
Army will bring a 41-13 mark into
Charlottesville. The Black Knights rolled through the conference
schedule, sweeping the first four series before splitting the
final series for an 18-2 Patriot League record. Army swept
fourth-place Lafayette in the semifinal series of the Patriot
League Championship and took two of three from second-place Holy
Cross in the Championship Series.
primarily works with the hitters and infielders. Army recruits
nationally, and he concentrates on the East Coast – and has
landed several Virginia players over the past few years.
The Black Knights set a single-season fielding
percentage record in 2009 (.970) after falling just short of the
mark the previous season. Army has had multiple All-Patriot
League infielders, including All-American Clint Moore in 2009.
That season, the Black Knights also set program records in
batting average (.329), hits (626), doubles (117), triples (18),
home runs (57), runs (446), RBI (408) and slugging percentage
Jim Reid is preparing for his third season at
Virginia on the staff of former Richmond player and coach Mike
London. The Cavaliers won eight of their first 11 contests,
including ACC victories over Georgia Tech, Miami and Florida
State. Virginia earned a bid to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, falling to
Auburn on New Year’s Eve in front of 72,919 fans at the Georgia
Dome in Atlanta. The Virginia defense held opponents to 24
first-quarter points in 13 games in 2011.
Jim Reid was a college teammate of Clemson head
coach Jack Leggett at Maine. Reid was a defensive back for the
Black Bears, while the two-sport Leggett was the kicker. Leggett
still holds the school record for longest field goal, a
52-yarder against Delaware in 1975.
And Reid continues to be quite the baseball fan.
“You know you love the game when you sit at your
computer in the office and watch little cartoon characters
running around,” Jim Reid said. “I sit there saying ‘What am I
doing here? Watching Gametracker.’ I would sit here and watch a
stick figure running around, pounding my desk. It’s hard
watching games with those little people running around.”
It should be more fun watching the real thing on
(photos courtesy of Army &
Virginia Media Relations Offices)