VIDALIA, Ga. (WTOC) - When most think of Vidalia, they think of onions.
When folks in Vidalia think of the Indians, they think of Chunk Reid.
The legendary Indians’ girls basketball coach and athletic director died Tuesday afternoon. He was 75-years-old.
Reid coached the Indians for 47 years and racked up a state record 881 wins. Vidalia won 11 region titles during Reid’s tenure and made the state playoffs 33 times, including a state championship appearance in 2010.
He was inducted into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
Reid served as Vidalia’s athletic director for 22 years, overseeing the period of the Indians’ greatest success. VHS won 16 state championships during his time as AD, and were the Region All-Activities Champions 15 times.
Reid also coached the Indians softball team for 16 years, leading them to a state title and also coached baseball for two seasons.
“The Vidalia Family has lost an iconic figure and we are all deeply saddened by the passing of Coach Reid. He was able to touch so many lives during his time as teacher, coach and athletic director. He was such a well respected coach and friend to so many of his peers from around the state," said Vidalia Athletic Director and Head Boys’ Basketball Coach, Tommy Dalley, in a statement released by the school. "He has had a tremendous impact on everyone that he has come in contact with, but we know he is at peace now and our prayers are with his family.”
“Coach Reid...the reality most definitely lived up to the hype. Coach Reid is every bit and more,” said assistant coach, Kourtnee Williams, who played at Vidalia before returning to teach and coach.
“He was like a father figure, a grandfather, to all of them," said former student, Cynthia Waring. “He knew what they needed.”
In some cases, Reid coached young ladies and then went on to coach their daughters. All say he never forgot a name, face, or number.
“The fact that he remembered what number I wore. One of the questions he asked my daughter was ‘are you going to wear the same number as your mom,” said former player, Marcy Lane.
All three say his coaching extended beyond the court - to lessons about life. Even though he retired, he remained part of the program and an influence to many.
Below is an audio recording of Vidalia play-by-play announcer John Koon, giving his thoughts on Reid’s legacy.
Reid retired from coaching in 2017, and stepped down as athletic director after the 2018-2019 school year citing health concerns.
According to the Vidalia School District superintendent, visitation will be Thursday at the Ron Hall Funeral Home from 4 to 8 p.m.
The funeral will be held Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Vidalia High School gymnasium.