I ran into Reggie Lewis Thursday night at Jacksonville Trinity Christian Academy’s spring game against Raines. Gator Great Guss Scott coaches at Trinity and invited his former teammate out to watch. Lewis says he always enjoys hanging out with former teammates.
“I’ve been catching up a lot with some of the people that used to play with me at Florida,” Lewis said with a smile during the latter part of the exhibition. “I came out here today because of Guss Scott and I see Bam Hardmon out here recruiting as well as O.J. Small, a couple of cats I played with at Florida. It’s always good to come back home and see a bunch of talent like this.”
Lewis is still doing work in the athletic field, but his goal is to get back with young people and try and help them be better, at the same time he is one class short of his degree, something he really wants.
“I am down in Tampa and am a personal trainer,” he said. “I am trying to figure out the life outside of football. When all is said and done I want to get back into school and get into coaching. I want to get back to school and then enroll in graduate school so I can become a GA and see where my knowledge of football can take me from there.”
Maybe this wasn’t something he thought attainable a little while ago, but he was in Gainesville in April and he decided to ask about the opportunity to fulfill this dream.
“When I was down at the spring game I ran into Mike Spiegler (UAA Administrator), Mark Campbell (Gator Great defensive lineman), and actually had a chance to talk with Jeremy Foley. That conversation went pretty well, he told me ‘Once a Gator always a Gator’. I talked about coming back to school and If I decide to do it will be back at UF. The conversation went great. It’s always great to talk to Gators.”
Lewis had a short stint in the NFL and then the CFL. His career was cut short because of an injury and he couldn’t quite get back into it. He has tried this and that, but his heart for now belongs in Gainesville and eventually with teaching young men how to make it.
“When it is all said and done I want to give back the knowledge back to the game from the three different coaching staffs I was able to be with at the University of Florida I feel like when I was there I inherited a lot of knowledge from when Spurrier recruited me, to playing for Zook and for Urban Meyer.”
It’s always great to run into the players that we followed and cheered for later in life. Even better to hear how much they loved their time at Florida and want to come back.
Lewis will long be remembered for the 2nd overtime interception of a Jay Cutler pass to preserve a 49-42 win in the 2005 Vanderbilt game (See This Flashback Story by our Franz Beard. It was his first year at the position after playing receiver under the Ron Zook led Gators for two years. In 2006, he had four interceptions including one in the National Championship game against Ohio State’s Troy Smith. He was a vital part of that terrific secondary in 2006.
He should have a lot to provide as a coach if he indeed is able to fulfill his next goal.
FLASHBACK VIDEO FROM 2006