Coaches often have a reputation for being ruthless and short-tempered, but Andy Reid is the exception. In the 29 years that he’s worked with NFL teams, he’s amassed a mile-long list of players and colleagues who have nothing but rave reviews for Reid—both as a team leader and human being.
On February 7, the 62-year-old coach of the Kansas City Chiefs hopes to lead the team to their second Super Bowl title. But while Patrick Mahomes and the crew turn to Reid for leadership and inspiration, who is the person who does those things for him? Let’s take a look at the life of Tammy Reid, his loyal wife of over 30 years.
Andy Reid Won His First Super Bowl With Tammy Right By His Side
Andy Reid’s journey to Super Bowl glory was a long time coming. As the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2012, he led the team to five NFC Championship Games and a single Super Bowl appearance. But it wasn’t until 2019, seven years into coaching the Kansas City Chiefs, that he had his first taste of victory.
And while fans were busy raving about the Chiefs’ breakout star Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback said it was Reid’s big day. “We wanted to get him that trophy because he deserved it,” Mahomes told ESPN. “The work he puts in day in and day out … I don’t think he sleeps. I try to beat him in and I never can. He is someone that works harder than anyone I’ve ever known, and he deserved [this]. I’m glad I could get that trophy for him.”
The next day, Reid told reporters that he spent his Sunday night celebrating with a massive cheeseburger, some Pitbull tunes, and one very special person.
Tammy even stood by his side when he spoke to ESPN from the field for a post-game interview. Watch his recap of the game here:
Tammy Reid Puts Her Family And Faith First
Reid was born in Los Angeles and raised Lutheran, but attended college in Utah at Brigham Young University, where the majority of the community is Mormon.
“I went there for a great education and to play football,” he said at a 2012 Latter-day Saints symposium in Philadelphia. But the more time he spent with Mormons, the more he realized that he “liked the lifestyle. I liked the gospel part of it; I liked the family part of it.”
Reid eventually converted Mormonism, and we suspect that falling in love with Tammy, a devout member of the church, had something to do with it. The college sweethearts went on to marry in 1992 and had five children: Garrett, Spencer, Britt, Crosby, and Drew Ann.
Unfortunately, the Reids faced major obstacles when their two oldest sons, Garrett and Britt, ran into legal troubles in 2007 for separate incidents. Garrett was arrested after police discovered drugs in his car; meanwhile, Britt was held on drug and weapon offenses after allegedly pointing a gun at another driver. On August 5, 2012—after multiple attempts at rehabilitation—Garrett was found dead of a heroin overdose at the Eagles’ training camp.
Tammy did not make a statement following the loss. But just a few months earlier, she had told the Main Line Times that her faith had gotten her through the family’s darkest moments.
“I prayed every morning and every night,” she said. “The first thing I did in every single state we moved to was find a church. You just show up and people accept you and love you.”
In a 2007 interview with Philadelphia magazine, Tammy said that she regularly hosted “family councils” so that the kids and parents could communicate and voice concerns. Her husband added that they were not just fair-weather church-goers. Their commitment to their faith was always a priority, even before hard times hit.
“I’m always the one who gives that lecture — don’t wait until the plane’s crashing and become religious,” he said. “And then say, ‘If you save me, I’m going to be stronger.’ Don’t do that. When you’re a member of the Mormon Church, you live your religion, and that’s what we try to do.”
Tammy Reid Truly Believes Kansas City Is A Special Place
The Reids move to Kansas City seems to have opened a new chapter for the family.
“When we got here, I told [Andy], I said, ‘Don’t make me love this place. I’m not gonna like it. You know I’m just grounded in Philadelphia,'” Tammy said in May 2020 Facebook video titled “Faith, Hope & Football.” “But you can’t help but love this place. The people are so nice, so amazing, so sweet. They don’t care if you’re in football or not in football. If they find out you are, they love you even more…”
Chiefs players can confirm their love for Reid.
“I can’t remember anyone who didn’t like playing for him, and I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t like playing for him,” Geoff Schwartz, a former offensive lineman, told ESPN.
“You don’t get his reputation just by being a good football coach,” added former offensive lineman Jeff Allen. “You also get it by being a good person.”
To see how Reid fares at Super Bowl LV, tune into CBS on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. for kick-off.