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The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper

Teacher Interview: Coach Reed

Teacher+Interview%3A+Coach+Reed

Who is the Concord Carlisle High School gym teacher and mastermind behind the Football Team? That honor would go to Coach Josh Reed, Head Football Coach here at CCHS. I had the pleasure of interviewing him, not only on how he got into football, but also on what brought him to CCHS in the first place, as well as his feelings on our program as a whole. 

 

Q: How did you get interested in football in the first place?

Reed: “I have an older brother named Anthony, who is six years older than me. He played football [so I started playing too]. I quickly fell in love with the sport, especially the teamwork aspect and the physicality, which made it different from any other sport I had ever played. I began playing in seventh grade for my hometown in York, Maine. I enjoyed playing with the guys I had grown up competing against. I’ll never forget the first time I got hit or tackled someone; it was one of the best feelings in the world, and I knew that football was for me.”

 

Q: How did you start on the coaching side of football?

A: “I started coaching in 2000 after I graduated high school. [I got the opportunity] because of my varsity coach, Randy Small. He was a huge mentor and a big influence [in my life] and we are really close. I knew him as early as eighth grade, and when he took over as head coach during my sophomore year, he completely transformed the football program. It had been in shambles culturally, but he turned it around, not just the program but the whole town as well. [Our town] became a football town and it was all because of him. I always looked up to that, so I knew that after highschool, I wanted to coach in some capacity. Even during college, I helped him out as much as I could. When I graduated in ’04, I came back and joined his coaching staff. I just wanted to be a part of that because when you have such great people in your life, you want to be able to have that same impact on other people you come in contact with.”

 

Q: What brought you to Concord?

A: “At the time, my wife was living in Boston, and I would commute to York, Maine every single day for work and to coach football in the fall. So, I moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts (between Boston and York), and then I found out that the head coaching job in Ipswich had opened up, so I went for it. My wife’s partner at work is from Concord, and his kids had gone through the school system and knew the old head coach, Mike Robichaud. We got in contact with each other and met a few times to discuss the interviewing process because I had never interviewed for a head coaching job before. In Ipswich, the head coaching job was between me and another local candidate, and he got it. So, I called Mike and thanked him for his help with the job and the interview. The next day, he called me and offered me a job on his staff.

It was a difficult decision to make, going from the guy I had been with since I was thirteen years old to switching and moving to Concord. I realized I didn’t want to be in construction anymore and had this calling to become a teacher. So, I decided to quit my job in Maine, stopped coaching for Coach Small, and returned to Boston University to get my master’s in education. In the spring of 2013, I began coaching and doing my student teaching at Concord-Carlisle high school. I also worked as a long-term substitute for one of my colleagues in the fall of 2014, and in January, they hired me as a full-time teacher. I was on Coach Robichaud’s staff for six years and have been the head coach for four years. This Halloween will mark the 10th anniversary of coming to Concord. Now, my family lives in town, I teach and coach here, and my kids attend school at Alcott. It’s great!”

 

Q: What values do you instill in your players and how do they use those values in the real world outside of football?

A: “In football, we compete, practice, and train to win games. However, for me, the most important thing is that when my players graduate from CCHS, they can look back and say that playing football here was their best experience. I’ve worked with people from different backgrounds, and through this, I’ve not only developed a deep respect for the game, but also acquired patience and the ability to deal with adversity. Teaching people to overcome obstacles is very important. I always tell the kids that they might not see the outcome right away, but they will recognize it later in life when they’re in the workplace, collaborating with colleagues they may not necessarily like, but still need to work together towards a common goal. Many of these kids I’ve known since eighth grade or even younger, and when they graduate, they are well-prepared to overcome obstacles and excel in the workplace and socially.”

 

Q: What types of adversity have you had to deal with and how did you deal with it?

A: “I’ve always wanted to be a head coach and had a clear vision of how I wanted things to unfold. When I was hired at CCHS I was so excited to get started and had my plan and slides ready when I met the team in March of 2020. I shared my vision for the program and talked to the guys about our offseason plans. However, just three days later, the principal announced over the loudspeaker, ‘We’re going to work from home for a couple of weeks. Bring your laptops and all your materials; we’ll be transitioning to remote learning.’ What was meant to be a short break turned into an extended period of remote dismissal.

During this remote learning phase, it was one of the hardest things for all of us. To keep the team engaged, players formed teams and participated in various remote activities, including Zoom dinners and workouts, as well as daily team meetings. Additionally, we managed to coordinate a toy drive with the help of the fire department during the Christmas and holiday season. In the spring, we participated in Fall II season (a makeup season) and played six games. I was proud of those seniors who endured a lot that year and dealt with a lot of adversity.”

 

Q: What would you tell students if they want to play sports at the highschool level?

A: “I’m a big preacher of being a student first. We always emphasize the need to excel in the classroom, which provides the foundation allowing us to excel on the football field. For me, playing football is an honor and a privilege, and it is a representation of our town. So, if we don’t prioritize our school responsibilities, we can’t expect to perform well on the field. One of the key values for me is how we treat others. It includes how you treat your teammates, people in the community, and how we conduct ourselves in the classroom. Those are all big things that I hold in high regard. I want players in my program who possess high character, a strong work ethic, a deep commitment to academics, and who fully embrace the culture we aim to foster.”

 

Q: What is the most rewarding experience you have been a part of?

A: “There was a player who started as a freshman for us, which has never happened before. His name was Tim Hayes. He was a great student, football player, and young man of high character. He worked so hard in the classroom, the weight room and during training. Unfortunately, in his junior year, he tore his ACL in the third practice of the year. He was ready to have a remarkable season, having received offers to play Division I football, but it all came to a sudden halt. To see someone invest that much in football, only to have it seemingly end right there, at least temporarily, was truly disheartening.

However, Tim didn’t let this setback stop him. He continued showing up at practice every day, training, and mentoring his teammates. He missed his senior year as well, due to the injury occurring during that season. Then, his determination to play on Thanksgiving became a focal point. Even when the doctors kept telling me behind the scenes that [playing on Thanksgiving] might not happen. He kept working and eventually received medical clearance to play on Thanksgiving at home. In that game, he took around 30 snaps and absolutely killed it. He tallied eight tackles, rushed for 50 yards, and scored a touchdown. The crowd erupted in celebration when he scored that touchdown, and it was an incredibly emotional moment when he came to the sideline, having fulfilled his dream of playing on Thanksgiving. 

I think Tim’s work ethic in the classroom and on the field is representative of our program as a whole. Even better was that summer. Tim reached back to all the schools that had previously offered him [a spot], but hadn’t shown much interest after his injury. Then, I received a phone call from Boston College [who] said, “We really like his film. What do you think of him?” I shared a very similar story about his determination and character. Now, he’s a sophomore playing linebacker at BC, and it’s a super rewarding outcome.”

_________

A huge thank you again to Coach Josh Reed for providing The Voice with such thoughtful responses and for his continued dedication to helping our students be the best they can be!  

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Dylan Yang, Writer
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