Football player drowns at friend’s pool in NJ

Andrea Wilson

A summer graduation celebration turned tragic this summer when Villanova football player David Reid drowned in a friend’s swimming pool in New Jersey. Shortly after midnight on July 25, just days before his 21st birthday, Reid was pulled from the pool, and guests attempted to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, and local authorities later confirmed that the cause of death was accidental drowning.

It is not clear exactly how the accident occurred.

Head Coach Andy Talley said in a July statement, “David was a great kid who was a friend to everybody associated with the program. He was a hard worker who was making an outstanding contribution to our program. We will miss him greatly.”

Reid was admired on the playing field for his strong commitment to the team and positive attitude. Talley recalled one hot spring practice game that convinced him of Reid’s dedication.

“David was leaning over, his hands on his knees, and I said, ‘Dave, can you go anymore?’ He said, ‘Coach, I can do it.’ And he did.”

Off the field, Reid is remembered as a funny and caring person who enjoyed spending time with his family.

He made regular trips to the shore with friends, and for his upcoming birthday, Reid planned to enjoy a night out in Philadelphia.

Reid enjoyed both academic and athletic distinctions at his high school, where he was admitted to the National Honor Society and named All-South Jersey as a senior. He received a full-scholarship to the University. As a finance major, Reid hoped to pursue a career in business.

He was red-shirted his first year at the University, and though he saw limited playing time in his first two seasons, Reid was projected at No. 2 on the depth chart at guard for the 2004 season campaign, which experts predict to be a very promising year.

The team was recently ranked 10th in the ESPN / USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll and was named to win the Atlantic 10 South Division at the A-10 Conference Media day.

This year, as the team aims to prove the experts right, players will wear patches bearing Reid’s number, 73, and a tribute displaying Reid’s locker, uniform and photograph will be placed behind glass.

At Reid’s funeral Mass in Woodbury, N. J., Talley remarked that in his 20 years of coaching, this was the only time the University’s football program had lost a player.

In his eulogy, Rev. Robert Hagan, O.S.A., said, “We all know life is not measured in terms of years. It’s far too profound for that. Life is measured in terms of love and fidelity and commitment and character, all qualities that David Reid showed us.”

Reid is survived by his parents, Mark and Barbara, and his two older brothers, Mark and Sean.

A presentation honoring the athlete was a part of the halftime program at the season opener against Bucknell on Sept. 2.