Reed, Greg (2011)
An integral figure in leading the renaissance of high school baseball in northern Penobscot County, Greg Reed’s coaching career has spanned all or part of four decades. A long-time teacher-coach at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Greg has been an outstanding ambassador for the game and has mentored scores of youngsters in both its fundamentals and strategies. Throughout his tenure, he has not only proven to be one of the state’s most knowledgeable baseball minds, but also a coach who provided a high quality teaching and learning environment for his charges.
Greg began playing baseball in his hometown of Greene, Maine where his father Wallace Reed taught him the fundamentals of the game and served as his Little League coach. Even as a youngster he shone above his peers during both organized contests and pick-up games played in the backyards and fields of the greater Lewiston area. He was a three-year baseball star at Leavitt High School in Turner where he pitched and caught for the Hornets. Greg served as team captain during his senior season (1970) and hit .432 to lead the Leavitt squad.
Greg played two seasons of fall baseball at the University of Southern Maine and starred for Lisbon’s Coombs Mountford Post in American Legion baseball in 1971 and 1972. In 1973 he played a significant role in the formation of the Androscoggin, Kennebec, and Sagadahoc adult baseball league at a time when the Pine Tree League was comprised of only four teams. He played for the Tri-Corner/Leeds squad and quickly earned a reputation as one of the league’s top hurlers and most feared hitters. Greg played for Tri-Corner until 1980 when he joined the Turner squad of the Pine Tree League.
Greg’s greatest contribution to Maine baseball was established during a storied career at Mattanawcook Academy that lasted from 1974 until his retirement in 2007. Reed was a fixture at the Lincoln school, serving as the English Department chairman and as Mattanawcook’s most charismatic and popular teachers. He also coached varsity golf and garnered over 100 victories as varsity girls basketball coach for the Lynx. A man of letters, Greg also served as the yearbook and newspaper advisor.
With the exception of a three-year hiatus from coaching, Greg guided the fortunes of Mattanawcook’s baseball program from 1978 to 2007. During that time he amassed an overall won-loss record of 252-177 and led twelve teams to postseason berths. Greg’s squads played in five regional title games and won regional championships in 1991 and 2001. Noted for their outstanding sportsmanship and on-field decorum, his clubs won the Harry J. Dalton Award in both 2000 and 2001. One of his greatest personal thrills in coaching during this time was the opportunity to work with his son Zachary, a talented pitcher/shortstop who graduated as the all-time statistical leader in many offensive categories at Mattanawcook.
Throughout his time as Mattanawcook Academy’s coach, Greg proved to be one of the state’s most creative and innovative coaches. Working in an area of the state where snow remained on the ground deep into the preseason, he became a master at utilizing indoor practice space effectively. He was particularly skillful in developing pitchers and was ahead of his time in using arm-strengthening techniques and pitch counts as a means of preparing young arms for the upcoming season. His attention to detail and ability to accomplish work, even in a gymnasium setting, was uncanny. He built a successful program without cutting players and would routinely carry squads of thirty youngsters or more.
Perhaps his greatest contribution to the sport and to the youngsters who played for him was the role that he played in countless lives that he touched during his distinguished career. A strong mentor and role model, he combined a tremendous sense of humor with a penchant for discipline that led student-athletes to enjoy playing for him. As one former player and current high school principal states, Greg Reed “was a fierce competitor, on the baseball diamond, but the consummate professional.” His legacy and influence can be seen today in the work of those lives he touched. A significant number of current educators and teacher-coaches are paying forward to others the life lessons about hard work, commitment, and character taught to them by Greg Reed.