Pastor and coach Bob Reed shares his beliefs on life and love

Coaches’ Corner - 2/2/17
By: 
GARRETT HARR
Outlook staff writer
Bob Reed

The Laurel Outlook recently spoke to Joliet High School head speech and drama coach Bob Reed about family, God and his strong belief in others.
Bob Reed was born in Norwich, Conn. After enlisting in the Air Force he moved to Montana, where he met Michelle, now his wife of 34 years. Reed spent most of his life working in law enforcement before becoming a pastor over 15 years ago. He is still involved in law enforcement as a Carbon County Reserve Deputy in Joliet. He coaches Speech and Drama for Joliet High School and is still a full-time pastor at Joliet Baptist Church.
1. What or who got you into speech and debate? “I was involved in debate in college. Then years later I started volunteering as the debate coach in Joliet in 2007.”
2. What is your philosophy on teaching and coaching young developing minds like your students?  “I want them to know they are supported in their choices and allow them to expand their knowledge. We allow our students to pick or write their own pieces and to compete in whatever event they desire.”
3. What does speech and debate mean to you? “It means doing my best to allow the students to do their best. It means life skills. It means being busy for five months and loving it. It means hundreds of students in a gym supporting each other and cheering for each other. The positives of the awards ceremony is something you rarely get to see in any other sport.”
4. Why do you think it is considered a sport? The competitive nature of the debates, the practice, what exactly? “These young people spend as much time or more than any other athlete trying to perfect their performances. They will work for hours to fix even a small detail. They leave for meets sometimes at 4 a.m. in the morning and compete all day. Those that stay with it are dedicated.”
5. What is your favorite part about coaching? “Seeing the faces of those who have worked and been rewarded for their hard work. Watching some of the students mature and grow not just in this, but in life and getting to be real friends with the members of the team.”
6. If you could tell future students one reason why they should join Speech and Debate, what would it be? “It teaches life skills. Everyone will have to talk to someone in their lives, especially in front of other people. This develops the skills and confidence to speak effectively.”
7. What is your favorite topic this year in speech and debate? “I don’t think I have a favorite. My team worked on so many different topics and competed in so many events, it would be too hard to choose.”
8. What is your students’ favorite topics in speech and debate? “We had a young team with mostly freshman and humor seemed to rule the events. I do sort of lean towards debate since it was my event, but I along with my assistant coach Ashley Engelke work with the entire team, no matter the event.”
9. How do you feel about the group you have this year? “I am very proud of this year’s team. They worked very hard, and those that went to Divisionals competed well and represented their school very well. We had one of our students, Wyatt Luloff come in third at State.”
10. Who do you tell your students to look up to as one of the greatest debaters, or speech makers in history?  “We have looked at Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy along with Margaret Thatcher as great speakers, who knew how to move an audience. Many others have made an impact on people. So many have made speeches that have made history. Almost anyone in the world would recognize Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream,’ speech. Some messages live on forever.”
11. What book did you read in high school that inspired you? “I can’t think of a particular book. I read so many different books in so many different genres.”
12. What quote do you live by? “That God is in control.”
13. What is the favorite part of your job? “As far as coaching goes? It is simply working with young people who want to improve how they perform.”
14. What film or television show would you recommend for students to watch to give them the best interpretation of what speech and debate is really like? “I like the old movie ‘Listen to Me.’ It speaks of debate, but covers life’s troubles and the determination to triumph over them.”
15. What is the biggest difference you have seen in kids now, compared to kids when you were in high school? “The massive amount of activities and extra-curricular activities that kids are involved in. They all seem to be involved in so many things. It seems almost every week there is some conflict with another task.”
16. Was there a mentor or someone who helped you or you looked up to when you were young? “There was a man who sort of made it his mission to make sure I was out of trouble. He taught me how to learn to work with others and how to respect others. My father is also a great man who taught me the value of work and having respect for this nation and the people.”
17. Have you been able to return the favor in your own students’ lives? “I have tried. I want them to know how much I believe in them and support them.”
18. Why did you choose to coach in Joliet? “It was simple, this is where I live. Both of my daughters have been on my team. I have been blessed to travel the state with them. This is a great town to live in and raise kids. We are blessed with kids who want to work and do their best. The school and the school administration have always been so very supportive of our team.”
19. How do you deal with the many different personalities on your team? “I accept each one as an individual.”
20. In one word can you describe what you hope your students learn from speech and debate? “Confidence.”

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