Blue Hill—Erich Reed is in his sixth year leading the George Stevens Academy cross-country program. Reed’s teams have seen massive success, with the boys team winning the state championship in 2015 for the first time since 1983, and the girls team following in 2016 for the first state championship by a girls team in school history.
For Reed, watching his runners set, meet and often exceed their own goals is one of the things he has enjoyed the most as a coach. Assisting runners looking to compete on college teams after graduation is something he has taken pride in as well.
“It’s always fun to work on that long-term development, because it changes the strategy a little bit,” said Reed. “It’s a bit of a different process.”
When Reed took over the program, he already had amassed a resume of coaching experience, both at GSA and at the collegiate national level while living in Oregon. Prior to becoming the head coach of the cross-country program, Reed was at the helm of the Eagles’ track program, a position he still holds.
In addition to coaching experience, Reed also brings firsthand running experience to the position. He has been running since childhood, he said, and grew up competing at the high school and college level.
With over a decade of coaching experience, and even more personal experience, under his belt, Reed said that his coaching style is more of a collaboration with his athletes than giving them specific instructions on a daily basis.
“I try to rely on as much athlete leadership as possible,” he said. “With these teams that has been really successful because we’ve had a lot of strong leaders.”
This year, that leadership has led the girls team to several top finishes over the course of the season and, with the state championship meet approaching, Reed said training and work has been done with that in mind.
“The state meet is always the most competitive race we run during the season, and we always keep that in mind and work toward that throughout the season,” he said. “The girls are looking at a shot at another championship, and the boys have been improving throughout the year and I think they’ll be competitive.”