Phil Reed was measured by much more than mere wins and losses. That was obvious following the shocking death of the Southold High School boys basketball coach.
Reed was found dead on the Long Island Expressway Jan. 27. He suffered a heart attack while driving home from a practice, said his wife, Lorraine.
The 59-year-old coach’s death sent shock waves throughout the Suffolk County high school sports world. Reed touched many lives through sports and his job as a counselor at Maryhaven Center of Hope in Riverhead.
“I don’t think he realized the impact that he had,” said Joe Read, the Miller Place girls basketball coach who had coached football with Reed at Bishop McGann-Mercy.
Reed’s affable manner and concern for his players transcended the playing field. He was known for taking an interest in his players’ lives outside sports, often calling them just to chat.
Greg Gehring, a senior guard on Southold’s basketball team last season, said Reed “was our best friend. He was a father figure for everyone. If he knew you for a day or his whole life, he was your best friend and he treated you like that.”
A teammate, Shayne Johnson, called Reed “one of the greatest people I ever met.”
Photo credit: Garret Meade, file