Bookmark and Share

Choose KU, Choose the World

Andre Reed at Andre Reed Stadium

Andre Reed

by Camala Moser '16

From Allentown, to Kutztown, to Buffalo, New York and then to Canton, Ohio. This path is the highlight of the life and career of Andre Reed '05. These four places are crucial to Andre Reed's success. Each one of these towns will always mean something special to him.

"These are blue collared towns that dot the road map of an amazing journey," Reed said during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech. "They're connected by blood, sweat, tears and cheers of a football life I proudly led the last four decades."

The thing about all his past homes is how much they all love and respect Reed, and how much he loves and respects them back. Before his Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) induction in August 2014, Dieruff High School, his Alma Mater, named April 23 as Andre Reed Appreciation Day, where he received a key to the city and a framed jersey with his retired No. 11. A few months after his HOF induction, Kutztown University dedicated homecoming weekend to Reed, where University Field was officially re-named, University Field at Andre Reed Stadium. He spoke about his late KU coaches - George Baldwin, Al Leonzi and Gino Calcagni - and how they helped him have such a phenomenal career.

Andre Reed at 2005 graduationReed, who played football at Kutztown from 1981-84, left school in 1985 to pursue a career in the NFL. That spring, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Bills and began a stellar career in professional football. He played the next 15 years with the Bills, helping to lead the team to four Super Bowls. He also played one season for the Washington Redskins. Reed finished his career among the top receivers in the history of the NFL, with 951 receptions for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. Reed retired following the 2000 season.

Reed, with the help of Leonzi, pursued the school's degree completion program to finish up the final handful of credits needed to graduate. Reed received a bachelor's degree in general studies in 2005.

"Now that my football career has ended...there was one important thing left to do," Reed told the graduation crowd of over 7,000. "My dreams were to get this degree. All those dreams are realized today. To the graduates, I want to say one thing, you should always remember to finish what you started."

Buffalo sports fans created a Buffalo Fan Alliance advisory, and in 2014, were working to keep the Bills located in Buffalo. One of the members of that board? Andre Reed, of course. An article from ESPN published in April 2014 states, "Reed referred to the Bills as part of the fabric of western New York, and integral to the region's identity and [Ralph] Wilson's legacy."

One of the most important places on his path is Canton, Ohio, home of the Professional Football Hall of Fame. In August, 2014, Reed was the first member of any Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference school to be honored as a pro football Hall of Famer. According to Mark Gaughan from The Buffalo News, "of the seven men who entered the Hall as its Class of 2014, Reed received the biggest cheer from the crowd."

It is great to see that one of the most famous people from KU is also one of the most deserving. He had a large sports impact in Allentown, Buffalo and Kutztown, but he also gave those cities more than a sports hero - he gave them a chance to celebrate their hometown pride and spirit.

Read more about Andre Reed

Andre Reed at Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction