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Andy Reid’s son, Garrett Reid, found dead in dorm room at training camp

By Jeff McLane, The Philadelphia Inquirer –

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Garrett Reid, son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead in a Lehigh University dorm room early Sunday morning.

Reid’s body was discovered by an “Eagles official,” who called police at 7:20 a.m. to report that he was unresponsive, according to Ed Shupp, Lehigh University Chief of Police. Shupp declined to say who the Eagles official was, but said it was not Andy Reid.

Shupp said police arrived at the dorm room at 7:21 a.m. An autopsy is expected to be completed in 24 to 48 hours, he said.

“There is no indication of a suicide or foul play,” Shupp said.

The 29-year-old son of Andy Reid and his wife, Tammy, had been assisting the team, helping out with strength and conditioning coaches during training camp. Garrett Reid had a troubled past that involved drug addiction and stints in prison.

“This is a tough morning for all of us in the Eagles family,” said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, who delivered the news to reporters Sunday morning. “Garrett grew up with this team, which makes this news even harder for us to process.”

Garrett is the eldest of the Reids’ five children. Roseman said that Andy Reid, who left Lehigh and returned to his home outside of Philadelphia, spent the morning informing his family and Eagles owners Jeffrey and Christina Lurie. Jeffrey Lurie’s annual state of Eagles press conference that had been scheduled for Sunday was canceled following news of Garrett Reid’s death.

“I’ve watched Andy try so hard with his family over the years,” Lurie said, breaking down, as he gave a brief statement in the afternoon. “He cares so much about his family that it’s a hard one. You see a man that really cares, and sometimes what happens happens in life, and, you know, as he and I discussed it’s like life throws you curveballs.”

Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and defensive coordinator Juan Castillo oversaw Sunday’s practices and will oversee the squad until Reid returns. Lurie addressed the team out on the field before the afternoon session.

“I expect Andy to be coaching this week,” Lurie said. “In fact, I know he feels that way.”

The Eagles’ first preseason game is scheduled for Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field. The team’s season opener is Sept. 9 at the Cleveland Browns.

“From a football perspective, I can tell you Andy has asked that we go forward with training camp,” an emotional Roseman said at the Lehigh practice fields. “On a personal note, we’ve been with Andy for a long time. He’s always been strong for us, we’re going to be strong for him right now. As a father and a friend, we’re all hurting.”

Shupp, in a statement delivered after Roseman spoke, said that his office received a 911 call at approximately 7:20 a.m. this morning of an unresponsive male in the Sayre Park dorms. The Eagles reside at Sayre Park during camp.

“Upon arrival attempts were made to revive the individual,” Shupp said. “They were unsuccessful. … There were no suspicious activities.”

Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek said that he was conducting an investigation with the cooperation of the Lehigh police department.

“I personally pronounced Mr. Reid deceased at the scene,” Lysek said. “The investigation will be ongoing.”

Reid was not present for the start of the Eagles’ walkthrough Sunday morning. The Eagles originally said that Reid was dealing with a personal issue and that they would issue an update following practice.

The Eagles coach is a familiar presence at the team’s practices, always hovering in his matching black shorts and shirt. The team was seen gathering together in prayer before practice, an ominous sign that something was amiss.

Players and coaches were not made available for interviews following the morning walkthrough.

The last time Reid was believed to miss a practice was in November 2007 to appear in court with Garrett, after his son was arrested on gun and drug charges. Britt Reid, the Reids’ second eldest son, was involved in a separate incident involving drugs and a gun on the same day as Garrett.

Reid later took a six week-long leave of absence during the 2008 offseason as his sons faced criminal charges. Garrett Reid was sentenced 23 months for smashing up another motorist’s car while he was on heroin.

Britt Reid was sentenced 22 months plus probation. Reid, who works as a graduate assistant for the Temple football program, got married this July near the Reids’ summer home in Southern California.

In the death notice released by the Reid family, Garrett Reid was said to have “found his passion in helping others develop their physique.” Reid, according to the notice, “had planned to begin studies in sports management in the fall.”

Services for Reid will be held “for family and friends,” according to the notice, on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Broomall.

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