Dustin Reid is coaching two successful volleyball teams this season.

Photo Courtesy: Alex D’Addese

Two teams, one coach: a balancing act

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By Gracie Brison

Wings and beer, peanut butter and jelly, or Dustin Reid and balance. Some things are just mutually suited to each other. Despite contending with a busy schedule by coaching both the women and men’s volleyball teams this year, Reid is more than ready for the challenge.

A former volleyball superstar,  Reid brought his volleyball expertise to Ryerson eight years ago. Having played professionally in Europe, Reid has also represented Canada in more than 120 international matches including two world cups, and headed up Ontario’s gold medal winning team at the 1993 Canada Games.

Reid started volleying young. His inspiration to pick up the sport came from close friend, Ken Davies, who was a great all-around athlete, and particularly a volleyball fanatic.

In Reid’s first year, and Davies’ senior year, of high school, Davies was tragically killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Despite the loss, Davies had a big impact on Reid’s volleyball career.

“That was sort of the moment where I started to look at the sport with a little more desire, a little more motivation, that it might be something that could offer some opportunities for me,” Reid said.

After his career as a player ended, Reid  coached in Switzerland before returning to Canada to become the Technical Director of the Ontario Volleyball Association. Shortly after, Ryerson received a grant from the Coaches Association of Ontario  to make a full-time position, the first one the women’s program ever had. Reid accepted the offer in 2008 and has been coaching at Ryerson ever since.

Over the years, Reid has helped shape the women’s volleyball team into the powerhouse program its become. As of last season, Reid has collected 46 victories as the head coach and this year, has added four more wins to his record. In the 2012-13 season, Reid coached the Rams to their best season ever, posting a 14-4 record and reaching the OUA Final Four for only the second time in the program’s history.

After coaching the women’s team for eight years and the men’s for only a month-and-a-half, Reid is trying to give both teams top priority.

“I had a lot of worries for the players on the women’s team because I think that they maybe felt  why did they have to have less of either my time, or my attention?” Reid said. “What did they do to deserve that? But they’ve been fabulous.”

Following in the footsteps of last season’s men’s head coach, Mirek Porosa who is on leave for personal reasons, requires melding old systems with Reid’s own strategies. Off to a great start this season with both teams above .500, Reid seems to be balancing his time between the two quite well. But the Rams aren’t his only priorities. He is also a husband and a father of two. Reid admits that time management isn’t his strongest point, but he seems to be managing a hectic schedule very well.

“I think if you talk to my family they wouldn’t say that I’m balancing it great, but I think they understand how passionate I am about what I do,” Reid said.

His passion for the game is helping Reid do it all. A father, a husband, the men’s coach and the women’s coach; it seems that Dustin Reid and balance are just mutually suited.

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