Andy Reid's son Garrett found dead

Eagles coach Andy Reid with son Garrett after a game in January 2000. Garrett Reid was found dead in a Lehigh dorm room. AP
Eagles coach Andy Reid with son Garrett after a game in January 2000. Garrett Reid was found dead in a Lehigh dorm room. AP
Posted: August 07, 2012

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Garrett Reid, 29, son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead in a Lehigh University dormitory room early Sunday morning.

Reid's body was discovered by an Eagles official who called police at 7:20 a.m. to report that Reid was unresponsive, according to Ed Shupp, Lehigh University chief of police. Shupp declined to say who the Eagles official was, but said it was not Andy Reid.

Shupp said police arrived at the dorm room at 7:21 a.m. An autopsy is expected to be completed in 24 to 48 hours, he said.

"There is no indication of a suicide or foul play," Shupp said.

Garrett Reid had been working for the Eagles as a strength and conditioning coach and had been a fixture around the team since his release from prison in 2009. Reid had a long, troubled past involving drug addiction. His parents, Andy and Tammy, had him seek treatment at various rehabilitation centers.

To those around the Eagles, Garrett Reid appeared to have rebounded from his addiction. He had "found his passion in helping others develop their physique," according to a family statement.

Garrett Reid was the eldest of the Reid's five children. He was at Lehigh along with his father and the rest of the Eagles for training camp. When practice began Sunday morning, the team, in an unusual move, gathered on the field in prayer. Andy Reid - almost a permanent fixture - was not present.

An hour or so later, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, joined by Shupp and the Northampton County coroner, announced that Garrett Reid was found dead in a dorm room at Lehigh's Sayre Park, where the Eagles reside during camp.

"On arrival, attempts were made to revive the individual were unsuccessful," Shupp said. "Garrett Reid was deceased on the officer's arrival. There was no suspicious activity."

Northampton County coroner Zachary Lysek, who pronounced Garrett Reid dead, said that he was conducting an investigation with the cooperation of the Lehigh Police Department.

"This is a tough morning for all of us in the Eagles family," an emotional Roseman said. "Garrett grew up with this team, which makes this news even harder for us to process."

Andy Reid returned to his Philadelphia-area home to be with family, the Eagles said. Team owner Jeffrey Lurie, who was originally scheduled to hold his annual state of the Eagles news conference on Sunday, instead delivered a somber statement later in the afternoon.

"I've watched Andy try so hard with his family over the years," Lurie said. "He cares so much about his family that it's a hard one. You see a man that really cares, and sometimes what happens happens in life, and, you know, as he and I discussed, it's like life throws you curveballs."

Lurie addressed the team before the afternoon practice, which the owner said Reid insisted shouldn't be canceled. The team huddled around Lurie with the players on one knee. After they broke, fans who had made the trek to Lehigh broke out in applause.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and defensive coordinator Juan Castillo oversaw Sunday's practices and will oversee the squad until Reid returns. The Eagles' first preseason game is scheduled for Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field. The team's season opener is Sept. 9 at the Cleveland Browns.

"I expect Andy to be coaching this week," Lurie said. "In fact, I know he feels that way."

The Eagles practice again Monday at Lehigh. They have off Tuesday when services for Garrett Reid will be held.

"From a football perspective, I can tell you Andy has asked that we go forward with training camp," Roseman said. "On a personal note, we've been with Andy for a long time. He's always been strong for us. We're going to be strong for him right now. As a father and a friend, we're all hurting."

Condolences from the NFL and around the region poured in to the team. Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin lost his son last year.

"The loss of a child and a sibling is absolutely devastating to a family," Philbin said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to Andy and Tammy Reid as they mourn the loss of their precious son, Garrett."

Players and coaches somberly walked off the field after a morning walk-through and did the same following the afternoon session.

"Coach has always been a great supporter of us, as a team, as an organization," Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said in a statement. "He's been a rock for us and a big teddy bear for us, so we're going to lean on him, and we're going to be there for him, and we're going to stay strong for him until he comes back and can lead us on."

The last time Reid was believed to miss a practice was in November 2007 to appear in court with Garrett Reid after his son was arrested on gun and drug charges. Britt Reid, the Reids' second-eldest son, was involved in a separate incident involving drugs and a gun on the same day as Garrett in January 2007.

Andy Reid later took a six-week leave of absence during the 2007 offseason as his sons faced criminal charges. Garrett Reid was sentenced to 23 months for smashing up another motorist's car while he was on heroin and spent time in and out of jail during the next two years.

Britt Reid was sentenced to 22 months plus probation for drug and gun offenses. He currently works as a graduate assistant for the Temple football program. Garrett Reid "had planned to begin studies in sports management in the fall," according to his family.

According to the obituary released by the family, Garrett William Reid was born in Provo, Utah, on April 13, 1983, and grew up in Green Bay, Wis., while his father was an assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. He graduated from Harriton High School and Montgomery County Community College and was an Eagle Scout.

"Garrett will be long remembered for his sense of humor, his bold laughter, and zest for life," the obituary said.

In addition to his parents, Garrett Reid is survived by siblings Britt, Crosby, Drew, and Spencer. The family said that funeral services for Garrett Reid will be held for family and friends on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Broomall.


Contact Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.

Inquirer staff writer Darran Simon contributed to this article.

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