- Herb Reinhard is retiring from his role as VSU Athletic Director after more than 30 years with the university.
- Under his leadership at VSU teams won 48 of the 52 Gulf South Conference Championships and 7 of its 8 National Championships.
- Reinhard will officially retire June 30th next year, the announcement for a search for the next athletic director will come at a later date.
The end of an era for Valdosta State University athletics.
"I'm excited, but I'll miss it there's no question about it."
I'm Ariel Schiller your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta. Herb Reinhard is retiring from his role as VSU Athletic Director. After more than 30 years as a leader, he tells me he's grateful for the time spent here.
Herb Reinhard started at VSU in 1992.
He worked in the Florida A and M University sports department for more than a decade. He credits his success at VSU to those years at FAMU.
"I got tremendous experience at Florida A & M in all kinds, the whole gambit of an athletic department."
Under his leadership at VSU teams won 48 of the 52 Gulf South Conference Championships and 7 of its 8 National Championships. He's also credited with expanding women's sports and restarting Volleyball in 1995.
"He cares so much about our student athletes."
Women's Volleyball Coach Kaleigh Zoucha, says she chose to work at VSU because of Reinhard's reptuation.
"Even when he makes tough decisions he normally has his decisions revolve how to take care of people and how to grow them as people."
That leadership is something Todd Smoot says he'll always remember. He's head coach for the men's and women's cross country team.
"I'm a specialty running shoe store owner, why would you think that person would be interested in coaching collegiate athletes, yet he took the chance, he convinced me it was a good idea, I had to agree with him, and it's been going well ever since."
From coaches to student athletes, multiple graduates have come back to visit with kids of their own.
"That's been really neat."
One memory that stands out? VSU's national football championship game in Alabama.
"It was a sea of red and black, and watching. I was already there but watching our team buses come from the hotel down to the stadium, I remember thinking we've arrived, this is neat, not many people get to experience that."
Now, he's looking ahead to the next chapter.
"Back when I was young I coached little league baseball and loved it and thoroughly loved it, well you know I haven't been able to do that for some 35 or 40 years, maybe I'll look into doing that again."
While cherishing the people that helped make his tenure so successful.
"Maybe I've helped some young people to grow and mature, and kind of kick them out the door and go on and do really good things at the end of the day that's a win."
Reinhard will officially retire June 30th next year, as for the search to find the next athletic director for the university, that announcement will come at a later date. Both coaches I spoke with say whoever comes next will have big shoes to fill. For ABC 27, I'm your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta, Ariel Schiller.