Nearly 900 mourners, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, attended the memorial service Tuesday for former Glendale Community College football player Garrett Reid, the son of Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid.
Reid, who was an offensive tackle at Glendale college for part of the 2003 season, died Sunday in his dorm room at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., at 29. The service was held at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Broomall, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia.
Reid, the oldest of five children to Tammy and Andy Reid, a former standout Glendale college football player, had been working as an unofficial camp assistant to the team’s strength and conditioning coach at the Eagles’ training site at Lehigh. The cause of death has yet to be determined and an autopsy was expected to be completed this week, though Andy Reid, in a family statement released by him Monday night, hinted that Garrett Reid, who had struggled with drug use, “lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years.”
Among the guests who attended the service included Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh, New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Indianapolis Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson, Cleveland General Manager Tom Heckert and current and former members of the Philadelphia Eagles team and front office.
“His spirit for life, the joy he lived with for every single day,” Harbaugh, a former assistant under Reid from 1999-2007, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The one thing I took, more than anything, was that Garrett was a friend of everybody. Kids in school that were kind of struggling a little bit, he’s their friend. The guys that were picked last for the basketball team, he’s their friend. He would take everybody under his wing. He had great compassion for people. And that’s a trait I think he gets from Andy.”
The elder Reid was an offensive lineman and kicker for the Vaqueros from 1976-77. Reid helped the Vaqueros capture the Western State Conference championship in 1977 before transferring to Brigham Young University. He was inducted into the Glendale Community College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003 and has been Philadelphia’s coach since 1999, leading the Eagles to an appearance in the 2004 Super Bowl against New England.
Reid was absent from Monday’s team practice and the Eagles did not conduct any practice sessions Tuesday. Media reports surfaced Tuesday that Reid might return to camp Wednesday or join the Eagles prior to their preseason opener Thursday against the host Pittsburgh Steelers.
Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie told the Inquirer on Tuesday that “all indications are that [Reid] probably will” coach.
“He’s so comfortable coaching. That’s what he does. He’s a football coach,” Lurie said. “I think it’ll be therapy for him. On behalf of all of us, he can take as much time off as is warranted. But that’s not what he wants. He wants to get right back in there.”