In yet another incident in which a young athlete died unexpectedly, a University of Minnesota-Duluth football player named Ryan Reed tragically died on Tuesday. His extremely premature passing occurred after Reed collapsed during a workout earlier in November. He was just 22 years old at the time of his tragic passing.
Reed, before his passing, was enrolled in the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics. He was pursuing a double major in Marketing and Professional Sales during his academic career, and was described as an excellent student.
His coach, University of Minnesota-Duluth head coach Curt Wiese, commented on his tragically premature death, saying, “Our staff and players are devastated about Reed’s passing. Reed aspired to be better every day at whatever task was at hand. He helped bring out the best in others with his positive attitude, infectious smile, and genuine care for the people around him.”
Continuing, Coach Wiese added, “We were fortunate to have Reed on our team, and he made our program, our department, and our community a better place in a short period of time. Reed will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on forever. He was the epitome of a UMD Bulldog, and what we can all aspire to be. To his family, thank you for allowing us to be part of his inspiring young life. Reed was a Bulldog through and through.”
Similarly, the university’s director of athletics, Forrest Karr, said, “Reed had a positive impact on so many and we are deeply saddened by his passing. Reed was a kind, caring and thoughtful young man who enjoyed bringing people together.”
Continuing, Karr added, “He grew up in my hometown and was beloved by those who knew him in Waunakee, Fargo, Duluth, and beyond. Our thoughts and prayers are with Reed’s family and friends during this time of sorrow. We are grateful for everyone who is supporting Reed’s teammates and our staff members.”
That shared hometown is Waunakee, Wisconsin. Reed graduated from Waunakee High School in 2019 and received the state’s Tim Krumie Award, given to the most outstanding high school senior defensive lineman, in 2018. His plaudits didn’t end there; Reed was also named the 2018 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) Large Schools Defensive Player of the Year
Nor did his awards and outstanding gameplay end once he made it to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. There, he was part of two NCAA Division I AA FCS National Championships (2019, 2021), won the Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award three times (2020, 2021, 2022), and was also a four-time Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll member (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022).
In this past season, before his passing, Reed managed to notch seven tackles and assisted on eight others, playing in nine total games. He also snagged a sack when playing against Northern State, along with managing to get three tackles in just one game, when playing against Minot State on October 21.
Reed’s obituary, describing why he passed, said, “Reed went into cardiac arrest on November 21st following a football team workout in the weight-room doing what he loved. This was the result of an undetected genetic heart condition and a large, loving heart. The athletic training team was tremendous in their efforts to immediately initiate CPR and regain his pulse. The ICU hospital staff at St. Mary’s-Duluth were amazing in doing everything possible for him. We want to especially thank Jessa, Hannah, Dawn, Sabrina, and Abbi, his teammates, the UMD coaching staff and administration–especially Forrest Karr and Coach Weise.”
Featured image credit: Ryan Reed Obituary
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