Legendary Detroit high school football coach James Reynolds dead at 75

Former coach hailed as a mentor to countless students

Legendary Detroit high school football coach James Reynolds dead at 75
Legendary Detroit high school football coach James Reynolds dead at 75

DETROIT – A legend in the Detroit high school football scene has died Saturday. He was 75.

James Reynolds spent decades as the head football coach at Martin Luther King School earning the title of winningest coach in PSL History.

King High School is a well respected school throughout the state of Michigan. The school has won many football games over the years, and many say Reynolds is responsible for that. People say he touched lives on and off the field.

“I never knew my real father. Mr. Reynolds was the first man that I loved, and looked up to as a father figure,” said Former Football Player Vincent Charles.

That’s how Former King High Football Player Vincent Charles describes Reynolds. Charles said he played for Reynolds from 1976-1980.

“He was more than just a coach. He taught us a lot of life lessons on that field and in the locker room,” said Charles.

“I was so hurt, I cried. It hurt me so bad, it’s not like I lost a coach, it’s like I lost a part of me,” said Charles.

Former players Larry Cunningham and Greg Thomas said his impact goes way beyond the football field.

“What he meant to me was a lifetime in terms of mentorship, in terms of leadership, in terms of inspiring us to do the right thing,” said Cunningham.

“His style of coaching to me was good for a lot of athletes and students and I respected that,” said Greg Thomas, of King High School class of 1980.

It was that style of coaching that got him the title of the best football coach in PSL history.

He was the winningest PSL Coach, with a record of 253-112. He led the King Crusaders to 9 PSL titles and six runner-up finishes from 1974-2009.

Under his leadership and direction King was the first PSL school to reach the state football finals and win.

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About the Author:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.