Huntington County Community Foundation | Reeves Still Supporting the HNHS Throwers He Loved Coaching
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Reeves Still Supporting the HNHS Throwers He Loved Coaching

Dave Reeves

Established in 2004, the Dave Reeves Athletic Scholarship was created by Marsha Reeves “to celebrate Dave’s love for the athletes he worked with over the years and to help a male or female thrower with education costs.” Dave Reeves taught and coached for 26 years in Huntington.

The scholarship is offered to a current Huntington North High School graduating senior who is a discus and/or shot put thrower for the Huntington North Vikings and who will attend college on a full-time basis.

Shortly after Dave passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2004, Marsha submitted to us a short biography detailing Dave’s life which we would like to share.

Dave Reeves grew up in Huntington playing sports throughout his school years. He played on Bob Straight’s 1961 semi-state basketball team and was captain for Jerry Young’s 1961 9-1 football team. 

Dave’s parents came to Huntington to escape coal mining country. While his father never finished school, he found work collecting the farmers’ milk cans and delivering them to the Sealtest factory. Dave said that he learned his hard work ethic from watching his father work every day but Christmas to provide for his five children. When Dave was a freshman in high school, his 49 year old father died suddenly of a heart attack.

Dave began working at a filling station to pay for his school lunches and other expenses. When other teenagers had the family car to go places, Dave had none. He told of walking to school, to all the sports practices, and to school social events. In spite of economic hardships, Dave excelled at sports and was elected by his classmates as a class officer all four years. Dave knew his only chance to go to college was through a scholarship. With the help of his devoted coaches, he gained local fame and attracted the attention of college recruiters. 

Ball State University offered Dave a full scholarship to play football. At one time Dave, a hard-running fullback, led the state in scoring. Next was Purdue’s Bob Griese. Dave’s senior year found the Ball State Cardinals undefeated, playing to tie in the 1965 Tennessee Rice Bowl. His college career was followed by offers to try out for pro teams but injuries sustained during college and size limitations, convinced Dave that it was time to move toward coaching.

Dave married his college sweetheart, Marsha, and became the head football coach at Fairmount, IN followed by a coaching position at Muncie Central. When Jerry Young called about a position in Huntington, Dave was anxious to return to his hometown where he taught and coached for the next 26 years.

While coaching track, Dave began a love for the discus and shot throwers. He immersed himself in training manuals, videos, and workshops to further his knowledge of throwing techniques.

Dave’s throwers began to frequent the state finals. State finalists Matt Furthmiller and Derek Dyer obtained scholarships to throw for Indianapolis University and Notre Dame, respectively. Derek was second in the state and received the mental attitude award, as well. Tim Adams received an appointment to West Point, using his throwing success to be recruited for their track team. Christy Richhart, 1992 state champion, spent time with Dave tweaking her successful throws to the top level.

In 1997, Dave retired from coaching to recover from a third knee replacement. He was drawn back a year later when the girls needed a throwing coach. Although coaching the girls’ team required some adjusting, he often remarked that working with the girls was as rewarding as the success he had found earlier with the boys.

Pancreatic cancer took Dave before he was ready to give up coaching the girls. In the spring of 2004, he stood with tears streaming down his cheeks at the Fort Wayne regional knowing that would be his last time to coach. The Dave Reeves Athletic Scholarship was created to celebrate his love for the athletes he worked with over the years and to help a male or female thrower with educational costs.

If you have any memories of Dave, please share them on our Facebook post.

For more news and information regarding this endowment and other endowments held at HCCF, please explore www.huntingtonccf.org and like us on Facebook at huntingtonccf.