For ONU baseball coach, faith, humility (and winning) come with the job
Just call Todd Reid the humble winner.
On the one hand, Reid is good at amassing victories: He recently set the record for the most coaching wins in Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) baseball history, with 304. On the other hand, he doesn't want the attention, preferring it be focused on his players or the chance to talk about his predecessor and previous all-time wins leader Elliot Johnson
Or even that Reid's record also includes more than 300 losses.
“All it means really to me is that I'm getting old,” Reid told the Kankakee Times after his 300th win.
Reid reached the milestone when the Tigers beat Trinity International 20-0 on April 12 in Bourbonnais.
Reid said his interest in coaching began when he was playing at Mount Vernon (Ohio) Nazarene University for Keith Veale. His coach's influence on his life was such that he asked Veale for advice on asking his future wife, Wendy, to marry him.
“He just had a big impact on me and just loved what he did, and loved his relationship with players, loved competing, and so that just had a big impact on me,” Reid said. “And eventually — I didn't know it at the time, but eventually — that impact stuck.”
Reid developed a desire to be a part of the game and have an effect on people, and he wanted to do it at a place like ONU, he said, where he can share his faith and the importance of things besides baseball. The school draws players who also want faith to be in their lives, and the team works with that by doing things like going on a mission trip every four years.
“That's a part of our faith, too, and just try to be servants and be able to take what Christ did and take that example and then play that out in our own lives and try to make service a big piece of that in what we do for others and how we love others,” Reid said.
The challenges that the game presents goes with the humility.
“Coaches and players alike, we all have egos, and pride is probably the thing we battle most every day,” Reid said. “But baseball helps you manage that, or at least challenges you to manage that, because you're going to fail a lot.”
As far as Reid's evolution as a coach — he had a 144-155 record at Eastern Nazarene College from 1997 to 2007 and was an assistant at Kenyon College from 1996 to 1997 — he said he is continually gaining knowledge and being more open to learning from players.
“Just maybe being more willing to listen and change has made me a better coach, especially recently,” he said.
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