Angus Reid (VC'94)

Angus Reid (VC’94), former offensive lineman in the CFL, author, and inspirational speaker,  shares with us the importance of mentorship in this generation. His book, Thank You Coach , talks about the impact of coaching and how youths can acquire valuable life skills through sports. Angus is also on Tedx Talk - Why We Need High School Football and Mastering the Skill of Trust.

Your team won three Grey Cup Championships and as an all-star for multiple seasons, you basically reached the pinnacle of Canadian football. What are some of the life obstacles that you’ve faced?

In Grade 9, I ruptured my appendix and couldn’t play any sports. It wasn’t until Grade 11 that I joined the football team. Back then, football was the only sport where you can just join without having to be qualified. In football, everyone matters. It was through football that I found the sense of belonging.

I became the Captain of the Varsity Football Team in my senior year and after I graduated from VC, I played collegiate football with the SFU Clans. College football, for me, was not the most smooth sailing. Due to a stomach condition, I missed three years of football. During that time, I leaned on my high school coaches. Because they were there for me, I was able to persevere.

I was drafted fourth overall in the 2001 CFL Draft by the Toronto Argonauts, but I got cut. It was a roller coaster ride and I definitely thought about quitting. I was fortunate enough to have mentors who guided me through this adversity. Later on, I made the team and played for the BC Lions for 13 seasons straight. 11 out of the 13 seasons, I had the same coach who helped me navigate through life - Dan Dorazio.

What is the value of mentorship?

Guidance, and we need it in this generation more than ever. Youths are heavily impacted by what they see on their phones. The time on the field is one of the only times where you have their undivided attention. This is powerful. As coaches, or mentors of any kind, we have the obligation to make sure they leave school knowing that they have the potential to turn their dreams into reality.

What would you like to say to our students and alumni?

You have what it takes to succeed. Success is not luck or magic. Focus on the things you care about. And remember, good things happen to people who don’t quit!