Has everyone caught their breath? Have heart rates declined to normal rates? Has the sky ceased falling?
When Bishop Manogue announced last Tuesday morning it had lured Ernie Howren away from Reed to coach their dormant football program, it unsurprisingly caused waves. Howren is arguably the best coach in the state and has built Reed into the 4A North’s flagship program.
Some reactions were malicious. Some were depressed. Some were congratulatory and thankful.
Some, in the first group aforementioned, were quick to accuse Howren of choosing money over loyalty. That is incredibly shortsighted.
Reed’s now-former coach spent two decades working with the worst facilities in Northern Nevada. Life gave him lemons. He didn’t make lemonade. He made the finest lemon spritzer anyone at Reed has ever tasted. And he served it from a golden grail – for 20 years.
He accomplished all that he can accomplish at Reed – a football program, a school and a community he owes nothing to.
He stayed far longer than most would have.
Now, he goes to a program with exponentially more resources (yes, that includes much nicer facilities) and a far higher ceiling.
Bishop Manogue has the potential to be the next Reed, if you will, and then some. It’s not hard to imagine the transformation happening in the relatively near future either.
— Bishop Manogue (@BishopManogue1) January 10, 2017
Now, what about Reed? Are the Raiders doomed?
It appears that most, if not all, of Reed’s assistants will follow Howren to Manogue.
Whoever takes over the program will have to bring and/or hire their own staff. But because Howren grew Reed into, well, Reed, it remains a desirable job. Will another respected coach in Northern Nevada go to Reed and bring his entire staff? Will athletic director Ryan Sims convince one of the former assistants to stay and take over? Or will Sims hire outside Northern Nevada?
The coach-to-be will inherit a program with a strong foundation in place. The talent already at Reed is rare. I don’t expect there to be a mass exodus of Reed players to Manogue, not this year at least. Many players on the roster grew up watching Reed football games and dreaming of wearing the Blue and Gold. Howren’s departure doesn’t erase those memories.
Above all else, there is already a winning culture in place. That may be the program’s most desirable attribute.
Reed can continue to compete for regional titles if the next coach embraces the recent history of success.
Howren’s departure leaves a void. That is obvious. But he won at Reed. So can the next coach.
Last Tuesday brought a bookend to a brilliant era for the Raiders. It doesn’t have to be a bookend to the program’s hope.
Nathan can be reached via email at email@example.com. His weekly column, ‘Shoup Shots,’ was named the best column in the state of Nevada (community division) by the Nevada Press Association. It runs in the hard copy of the Sparks Tribune every Tuesday morning.