The sports guy
Chico State consistently ranks as one of the nation’s top Division II athletic programs in the country, and the behind-the-scenes person in charge of sharing the news of that success—from the stats to the stories behind the wins and losses—is Chico State Sports Information Director Luke Reid. The Chico native with the signature beard has a passion for all the sports at the university, and is a much-loved pillar of the Wildcat athletic department.
Did you always want to work in sports?
I envisioned myself as an NBA superstar. In ninth grade, Mr. Bob Delgado cut me from the team and the dream fell apart. My mom told me about her friend’s son who worked at his high school newspaper. So, when I got to Pleasant Valley High School, I started working as a sports reporter at The Saga.
How’d you get to Chico State?
As a high-school senior, I was asked to cover a high-school football playoff game for the Chico Enterprise-Record. I got an internship at the E-R for the next year, and when I went to Butte College, I got an internship at the paper there. Soon I met [former Sports Information Director] Teresa Clements. When I decided to get serious about school, Teresa asked me to come work for her.
Fondest memory with the department?
In 2003, the Chico State men’s soccer team reached the NCAA Division II championship game. In the Western Regional tournament, we played Cal State Dominguez Hills at their place. We scored a late goal to tie it at 1-1, and then [current U.S. national team member] Chris Wondolowski scored the game winner with 24 seconds left. Then coach Mike O’Malley ran right at me from about 10 yards away and jumped into my arms screaming at the top of his lungs. It was this magical moment when Chico State knocked off the conference bully.
Why does Chico State consistently rank so high?
One is Chico itself. Every coach on campus will tell you that if they can get a kid who they want to come to Chico State to visit, they’ll commit. Another reason is the leadership of Chico State Athletic Director Anita Barker. I see every day how she leads and how she competes on a lot of levels, and I’m just very impressed by that.
What about life outside the office?
At home, I have a great wife [Beth] who teaches Spanish at Inspire School [of Arts and Sciences], and we have a 5- and 3-year-old. I’m really involved at Bidwell Presbyterian Church at the El Rey [Theatre]. I love that church and what it’s all about: being downtown, at the center of it all, and really trying to be Chico’s church in a lot of ways. It’s not just a place for people to go, but something that works hard to better our community as well.