LOGAN, Utah – Former Utah State distance coach Steve Reeder passed away at the age of 63 on Thursday at his cabin in Star Valley Ranch, Wyo.
“Words cannot express how we as a staff, team and university feel at the passing of retired longtime distance coach Steve Reeder,” said veteran Utah State head coach Gregg Gensel. “His influence over the distance program is reflected in the championships Utah State has won since the first one in 1992. His influence is also reflected in the great young men and women he has interacted with, and how they have become great influences themselves in every walk of life.”
Reeder retired from coaching following the 2015 track & field season. During his time with the Aggies, Reeder coached both the indoor and outdoor runners in the 800 meters and longer distances, as well as working with the cross country teams. He coached three All-American athletes, including Trever Ball, Shane Bingham and Jennifer Twitchell.
Ball earned All-America honors in 2005 for cross country, while Bingham was tabbed an All-American in 1997 for the 1,500m and again in 1998 for the indoor mile race. Twitchell earned her lone All-America honors in 2007 for the indoor mile.
To honor Reeder for his many years of service, Gensel put together a surprise retirement party for him in May of 2015. But that wasn’t the only surprise in store for Reeder that night. It was announced at the party, which was attended by many of Reeder’s former student-athletes, that the cross country course at the Innovation Campus Wellness Park would be named the Steve and Dona Reeder Cross Country Course.
“In naming the new Utah State Cross Course for he and his wonderful wife Dona, we hope it continues to be a positive influence on the lives of others, just as he would have wanted,” Gensel said.
Reeder was instrumental in helping the Aggies capture 38 combined conference titles for Utah State’s indoor and outdoor track & field teams, as well as the cross country program.
Utah State’s men’s cross country program dominated during the Aggies’ eight years in the Western Athletic Conference as they earned six WAC titles and crowned five individual league champions during that timespan.
Gensel was in his senior season when former Aggie track & field head coach Ralph Maughan hired Reeder.
Reeder was a long jumper at Box Elder High School (Brigham City, Utah) before earning his bachelor’s degree in physical education from BYU. He later earned his master’s degree in exercise science from Utah State.
While teaching English at Duchesne (Utah) High School for one year, Reeder also coached basketball, football and track. He then came to Logan and taught at the junior high level, coaching football, wrestling and track for two years prior to becoming an assistant with the Aggies.
Reeder, who carried the Olympic Torch as it passed through Logan on its way to the Opening Ceremonies in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, retired from Mount Logan Middle School, where he taught physical education, in 2009.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dona, their five children (Daisy, Emily, Marty, Isaac and Sadie), and grandchildren, who were all the loves of his life,” Gensel said.