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Alumni Hall of Fame
Service to St. Marys City Schools (2011)

Robert W. Reed

Robert W. Reed, a native of St. Marys, was a member of the St. Marys High School Class of 1922. Mr. Reed served the St. Marys City Schools for approximately fourteen years as a teacher and coach, having a profound effect on the identity of this school district and the greater St. Marys community that continues today and on into the future.

This offensive guard turned running back was a member of the first St. Marys High School football team of 1919 that represented the blue and gold, and was one of the young men who worked hard to earn the coveted letter “S.” Reed departed St. Marys to pursue a degree at Heidelberg College and play football as an offensive tackle. After graduating from Heidelberg College in the spring of 1926, Mr. Reed returned to St. Marys to teach chemistry and general science and assist Head Coach Roy Wisecup with the football team. In 1927, Robert Reed was named head coach of the St. Marys Memorial High School football program. By the end of the 1920’s, Cowboy Bob Reed was noted as leading his young men called “Roughriders.” Thus he is credited with giving St. Marys Memorial High School its main identity and trademark. This identity and trademark has had a profound effect on St. Marys Memorial High School, old and new, and the greater St. Marys community. As the 1920’s concluded and the 1930’s began, Coach Reed and his Roughriders started to accumulate championships for this already respected football program in Northwest Ohio. In 1929, the Roughriders captured the Northwestern Ohio Athletic Association Championship. In 1930, 1933 and 1934, the Roughriders garnered the Midwest Ohio League Championship. The 1930’s brought about many firsts for Roughrider football. The Roughriders played under the lights, both home and away, and the use of a public address system was implemented as well. In the 1930’s, Coach Reed pursued funding from the Works Project Administration for his plans for a new stadium. The W.P.A. was part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation. In 1937, after grading the ground properly, laying drainage tile, and building a new concrete stadium, the Roughrider faithful were welcomed to the new Memorial Stadium. Today this stadium is affectionately known as Skip Baughman Stadium. However, a new stadium was not the only thing new to Roughrider Football: St. Marys also became a member of the Western Buckeye League. Coach Reed and his Roughriders captured the 1937 Western Buckeye League Championship, the first of many such championships in this tradition-rich football program. It should be noted that Coach Reed maintained a lifelong friendship with his rival coach at Van Wert High School, Wilbur “Weeb” Ewbank, who went on to college and professional football fame.

However, in 1940, service to his nation would take Mr. Reed from Memorial High School to the United States Army, where he served in intelligence in various locations during World War II. From 1945 to 1948, following World War II, Colonel Robert W. Reed served as Military Governor of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, under General Douglas MacArthur. Upon returning to state side in 1948, Colonel Reed organized and supervised all reserve military units in the State of Wyoming until 1950. From 1950 to 1951, Reed served as Provost Marshal at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. From 1951 to 1952, Colonel Reed commanded the military police training center at Camp Gordon, Georgia. From 1953 to 1954, Reed was in Washington, D.C., serving as Provost Marshall of our nation’s worldwide Corps of Engineers. From 1954 to 1956, he found himself in Japan again serving as Provost Marshall for the Island of Okinawa. Colonel Reed returned state side for the final time in 1956, to serve as Provost Marshall of Fort Dix, New Jersey, until 1957. From 1957 to 1959, Reed was stationed at Governor’s Island, New York, serving as Provost Marshall for all of the First Army Area. In 1959, Colonel Robert W. Reed retired from active duty in the United States Army.

Upon returning to civilian life, Colonel Reed once again became Mr. Reed and returned to teaching chemistry at Hughes High School in the Cincinnati Public Schools. Upon retirement from teaching, Mr. Reed retired to his Montana ranch where he continued his love for the outdoors. However, his daughters, Mary and Nancy, note that even though his service took him away from St. Marys and he traveled the world, the Reed family maintained property in St. Marys and St. Marys remained close to Robert W. Reed’s heart. Upon his death in 1992, Colonel Robert W. Reed was returned to St. Marys where he was laid to rest in Elm Grove Cemetery.

It is for his positive service to St. Marys City Schools and the lasting impact that his service to the St. Marys City Schools has had on the school system and the greater St. Marys community that Colonel Robert W. Reed, the Father of St. Marys Football, is inducted into the St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Foundation Hall of Fame.

The above text, in its entirety, is embossed on a St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Hall of Fame plaque permanently on display in Memorial High School.

Copyright St. Marys MHS Alumni Foundation