CoW: Eric Reid

Coach Eric Reid is in his third season as head football coach for the Goldsboro Cougars (Goldsboro, NC). When Reid took over a 0-11 team in 2007, no one knew he would turn things around for the better on the field and in the community.

In just his first season, Coach Reid led the Cougars to an 8-3-1 record and to the semi-finals of the 2A playoffs. Now in 2009, they are currently sitting atop their 1A division with an 11-2 record and their sights set on a state championship. "His ability to coach a successful football team is a minor aspect of his abilities. The major aspect is the character he shows and leadership he provides to all those he comes into contact with," said Junior Pee Wee Pop Warner coach Drew Carson.

Reid was born and raised in Goldsboro, North Carolina, so when he returned home after receiving his bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Norfolk State University, he came with a passion and ready to make a difference. "I chose to come back home because it bothered me to see the steady decline in my school's performance both academically and athletically. My high school coach would preach to us the importance of giving back to your school and community, so I felt this was the best way to help bring that Cougar pride back," said Reid.

Reid's character, devotion and kindness have led one rival coach to describe him as "classy." One of Reid's major contributions to the community was providing his leadership to the Goldsboro Pop Warner Football program during its inaugural season. Through his efforts, the new team received much needed equipment, advice and expertise on certain issues, fundraising ideas and access to Goldsboro High's facilities for practice. Reid has followed through on his commitment to make sure this developing team has everything it needs to succeed. "He is one of the most humble people that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and I am a better football coach and person because of him," said Carson.

In recognition of Reid, Carolina Panthers Charities will donate $1,000 to Goldsboro High School's athletic department. All of this year's winners will be honored with an on-field presentation during the Panthers home game versus the New Orleans Saints on January 3, 2010. At that time, the 2009 Coach of the Year will be announced and the winning coach will receive an additional $2,000 grant for his school's athletic department.

The Carolina Panthers High School Coach of the Week program recognizes high school coaches who, through their hard work and dedication to young people, have made a difference in the lives of their players, school and community and provides high schools with financial assistance to help maintain and upgrade their football programs.

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