Albert Reid was 4-year football star at
Freedom, also played at Western Carolina
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By CHRIS HOBBS
CLAREMONT – The next chapter in Albert Reid’s football history comes with a bit of irony.
Reid — defensive coordinator the previous six years at Bunker High High — is the school’s new head football coach.
His own defensive coordinator in his senior year at Freedom High was Bunker Hill graduate Jason Watson, and Reid’s first three years as a Patriots assistant were on Watson’s staff in Morganton.
A teaching contract for Reid, who has been at Bunker Hill since 2010, was approved by the Catawba County Schools’ Board of Education on Monday night.
Reid, 39, replaces Patrick Clark after three seasons, after Clark resigned to return to Tennessee to be closer to his aging parents. The Bears were 2-9, 6-6 and 6-2 under Clark.
Reid is the ninth Bears varsity head football coach since 1980, and his coaching resume includes three years at Freedom, one year as girls’ track and field head coach at Hickory, and his experience at Bunker Hill.
He is a Freedom (2000) and Western Carolina (2005) graduate who played four season of varsity football for Tim McMahon at Freedom (the Patriots went 37-15 and won league titles in Reid’s junior and senior seasons).
At Western Carolina, he played two seasons each at inside linebacker and then defensive line.
He said the timing could not be more perfect for him to take over at Bunker Hill, where he will debut Aug. 20 against Stuart Cramer.
“It’s perfect timing,” he said, citing three years into Clark’s system and the Bears’ familiarity with it.
When Clark came to Claremont (from an assistant’s job at Maiden), he shifted Bunker Hill from a traditional run-oriented game to a spread offense. After a 2-9 first season, the Bears were 6-6 and earned their first playoff bid in six seasons before going 6-2 and finished second in the Northwestern Foothills 2A in a COVID-shortened season in the spring.
“We’re using our personnel to the best of their ability,” Reid said. “We’re using the athletes in their space. It didn’t happen Year 1, but it started to click in Years 2 and 3.”
Reid said he anticipates few changes in Bunker Hill’s approach and he’ll draw on experiences from all of the coaches he’s crossed paths with – including Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins, South Carolina defensive coordinator Clayton White and Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Ruhle, three he met while playing at Western Carolina.
Reid, whose family welcomed a son in January, will also think back to his days at Freedom and playing for McMahon.
“I’d probably say passion for the game,” was one lesson learned in Morganton, he said. “Caring about the kids and building a family-type atmosphere.”
Reid anticipates meeting first with Bunker Hill’s rising seniors – on Wednesday or Thursday – and go from there.
Statewide realignment moves the Bears out of the Northwestern Foothills 2A in August and into the new Catawba Valley Athletic 2A.
“It’s a tougher conference,” Reid said, “in with a lot of teams with a lot of tradition and we are looking forward to that challenge.”