Andy Reid is one of the most respected coaches in the NFL. He is also one of the highest-paid. He has been a head coach in the NFL since 1999, first with the Philadelphia Eagles and currently in his role with the Kansas City Chiefs. His career has spanned decades, helping to develop both legendary players and championship teams. Unfortunately, his personal life has not been quite as prosperous.
Andy Reid’s family in crisis
Andy Reid is the father of five children. Two of his sons, Garrett and Britt, both had troubled pasts. In 2007, the boys were arrested for drug-related crimes.
At the sentencing hearing, the judge referred to the Reid household as a “drug emporium.” A search of their home uncovered a plethora of prescription and illegal drugs.
Coach Reid and his wife were present in the courtroom for sentencing but declined to comment. The judge acknowledged that the couple loved their boys and that it was obvious they had tried to get them help to no avail.
Coaching the Philadelphia Eagles
Andy Reid rarely missed practice and claimed that his boys’ legal and personal problems would not affect his coaching of the Philadelphia Eagles. He had no intention of resigning from a game he loved so dearly. He did take a five-week leave in the offseason in 2007, but when it was game time Reid was nothing but business.
Reid agreed to an interview with Philly Magazine where he and his wife talked about getting their boys into rehab. They discussed the struggle of being parents to two children that had become drug addicts.
At 22 years of age, Reid’s son Britt was sentenced to 8 to 23 months jail time plus probation. At a young age, he started using painkillers after getting hurt in a high school football game.
That led to serious drug addiction over the coming years. In 2007, he pointed a gun at someone during a case of reported road rage. He was charged with a felony of carrying a firearm without a license.
Reid’s older son, Garrett, was a known drug user and dealer. He was also sentenced to 23 months in prison in 2007 for his involvement in a car crash while under the influence of heroin use. At sentencing, he told the judge,
“I don’t want to die doing drugs. I don’t want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD’d and just faded into oblivion.”
Sadly, Garrett was unable to beat his drug addiction and struggled for many years to overcome it. The Reid family did everything they could to support him.
In 2012, Coach Reid arranged for Garrett to work in an unofficial capacity with the Eagles strength and conditioning coaches at training camp. It was during that time that he lost his battle with drug addiction.
On August 5, 2012, he died of an accidental heroin overdose in a dorm room at the training facility at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He was 29 years of age.
Andy Reid gives a lesson in overcoming tragedy
The Reid family leaned on their Mormon faith to overcome this unthinkable tragedy. The Philadelphia Eagles players and fans offered their support and condolences were sent from throughout the NFL league. The pain, however, seemed too much to bear and in December of 2012 Andy Reid was fired as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
It took Reid only four days to find a new position with the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2013, he gave his son Britt an entry-level position with the Chiefs coaching staff.
Britt, overcoming his addiction to pain killers, has worked his way up through the ranks since that time. Now in his seventh season, he is the linebackers coach. Together, with his father, they hope to one day bring a championship ring to Kansas City.