Zephyrhills’ coaching and teaching icon Alan Reed can add Volunteer of the Year to his long list of accolades.
Reed, who began teaching and coaching at Zephyrhills in 1975 when the high school was opened as a new facility, was honored in the newly renovated school in front of dozens of other volunteers during the annual Volunteer Appreciation Night.
He coached the ZHS boys’ basketball team four times and his name will remain synonymous with the program for another several decades, and beyond as the court was named in his honor. The 75-year-old icon just finished another season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bulldogs.
“I just don’t know how people can walk away from education,” Reed said. “It’s not like a factory job. It’s something that sticks with you. I run into kids whose grandparents I coached.
“It’s hard to leave here. I love this school since the first year I was here. This place means everything. It’s been my whole work life and beyond. It’s more than I can put into words.”
During his tenure, he served under six different principals. When Reed started at ZHS, there were roughly 475 students. Now there are about 1,200 students. Regardless of the school population, it is those kids and their families that keep him going.
“It keeps me involved with kids who I know their parents,” Reed said. “In basketball, I had three or four whose parents I coached in middle school. The relationships mean everything.
“It keeps me active. It keeps me moving and it gives me purpose. If you have a purpose helping kids, you do it.”
Reed quickly pointed that his volunteer service is credited to ZHS Volunteer Coordinator Judy Williams.
“Judy Williams is an icon in this community too,” Reed said. “When Judy Williams calls and asks you to do something you do it.”
Williams must have called a lot of people as she recognized dozens of people and organizations who assisted the students at ZHS with their time, money and other donations.