Neil Reed, who coached boys basketball and both boys and girls golf at Pioneer Valley High School, died Thursday of a massive heart attack according to members of the faculty at the school.
Early reports are that Reed, who lives in Nipomo, had trouble breathing early in the morning and was taken to an area hospital where he went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived.
Reed, 36, was hired as a physical education teacher at Pioneer Valley in 2007 and became the boys basketball coach in 2009, taking over for Greg DeNike. Reed was also the golf coach at Pioneer Valley, leading the boys team this past spring. He also coached football at PVHS.
Reed gained notoriety in 1997 as an Indiana University basketball player. Reed alleged then-Hoosiers coach Bob Knight, who was known for his unmatched intensity and demanding attitude toward his players, choked him at a practice in 1997.
Some backed Reed's assertion thereafter. Some disputed it. Reed worked for ESPN shortly thereafter. A video tape of the incident was later discovered in 2000 and that, along with another incident involving an IU player, led to Knight’s dismissal.
Knight, nicknamed “The General,” recorded 902 wins as a college basketball coach, the second most all time.
Reed was a McDonald's All-American when he played for his prep alma mater, East Jefferson High School in East Metairie, La., just outside of New Orleans. He played for Indiana University from 1994-97.
Reed earned his undergraduate degree in Sports Administration from Southern Mississippi. Reed then worked at ESPN for awhile, before moving to California. He earned his master’s degree from Chapman and his P.E. teaching credential from there.
He leaves behind his wife, Kelly, and two daughters, Marley and Presley.