Dustin Reid has a passion for volleyball, and his peers know it. The 35-year-old former resident of Orono was named Coach of the Year for the East division of the Ontario University Association (OUA) on February 18th, an honour bestowed on him by his fellow university coaches.
Reid just completed his first full season leading the Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball team, after being named head coach in November, 2008, according to the OUA website. The team has made a marked improvement since Reid took the helm. The Rams finished just out of the playoffs with an 8-11 record, but recorded their highest number of wins in five seasons.
A native of Newtonville, Reid grew up in Orono, attending Kirby Public School and Clarke High School. His contribution to the sport of volleyball started early, standing out as a top player on his high school volleyball team while also playing high school basketball, rugby and hockey.
“He’s had such a long career,” said his mother, Cheryl Reid, when reached by phone Monday. “It started at Clarke High School.” She said her son decided to concentrate on playing volleyball after his friend and mentor Ken Davies – a volleyball player at Clarke, four years Reid’s senior – was killed in 1989 by a drunk driver.
“Ken had some goals in mind for his own career,” explained Cheryl Reid. “Ken always wanted to play for Team Canada, and that prompted Dustin to pursue volleyball almost exclusively.”
Still in his teens, Reid played club volleyball for the Scarborough Solars and the Ganaraska Wolves. He played one year of volleyball at the University of Toronto before joining Canada’s national team for seven years.
According to the OUA, Reid represented Canada in over 120 international matches. The highlight of his days playing for the national team came in 1999 when Canada won the bronze medal at the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg. But according to his mother, there was another honour that Reid will never forget. “The one Dustin cherished the most was when he won the Ken Davies Memorial Trophy in his first year playing for the Scarborough Solars,” she said.
Ending his career with Team Canada in 2001, Reid moved to Switzerland and took up coaching, leading a Swiss junior women’s team to a national title. He returned to Canada to take the position of Technical Director for the Ontario Volleyball Association, where he was noted for his contributions to “long-term athlete development,” “thoughtful counsel,” and his passion for the sport. He made the move to Ryerson after the University received a grant from the Coaches Association of Ontario to create a full-time position.
Cheryl and Bert Reid are pleased that their son is now working closer to home, they said. Dustin and his wife Faye, and their two children, have been making their home in Toronto, but will soon be moving back to the Orono area, reports his mother.
“We’re very happy for him,” she said. “He works very hard at what he does. He just does his job. He doesn’t like accolades. His reward is to actually see the improvements in the athletes he works with. He pulls the absolute best out of any person who wants to learn.”
“We’re very proud of him,” said his father, Bert Reid. “Even in high school, he had a large part in coaching the team he played on, [along with] long-time high school coach Lynn Lowery. That’s what Dustin really loves to do, is coach.”
Along with his strong credentials, Reid’s positive attitude and team-building skills have earned him the Coach of the Year award. His ability to share his passion for volleyball was evident last week, as the Ryerson women wrapped up their season. As noted on the OUA website, prior to the Rams’ final home game, Reid acknowledged each of his five graduating players with flowers and a framed picture. Win or lose, it made for a volleyball game the players would always remember.