SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Behind the softball field at San Francisco State sits the brand new Mashouf Wellness Center, a 118,700 square foot recreation facility that rises high above the stadium backstop.
While the backhoes, cement trucks and hammers have all gone away, construction is still very much underway at the Sunset District campus – in figurative sense.
Alicia Reid was hired in June to become the school's seventh softball coach, and she's trying to re-construct a program that has just 11 winning seasons since 1977.
Reid is only 29, but she's well beyond her years in softball circles. She was a player and an assistant coach with the dominant Humboldt State program that's won multiple national championships and has loads of postseason appearances.
"I was hired within a week of interviewing," Reid said of the quick timeline after the Gators job became available. "I'm very familiar with the conference."
Reid's path to San Francisco State began very early in life mostly because of her father Corey Reid, a successful travel softball coach in the Central Valley. He raised his daughter the only way he knew how – to be competitive.
"I can remember travel softball weekends where we wouldn't get home until six o'clock that night after being at the field seven o'clock that morning," Corey Reid said of family's aggressive sports schedule. "I'd be in the kitchen eating, and about 30 minutes later I'd hear the basketball out in the front of our house."
The long days paid off for Alicia Reid and Corey had a sense of fulfillment when his eldest daughter landed the Gators' job. He didn't think, however, he'd be joining her at The Swamp when she began to ponder who her assistant might be.
"I reached out to a few friends who have ties to the Bay Area," she said of the search. "But they didn't think they could fully commit because they had fulltime jobs."
As Reid moved down the list of perspective candidates, she eventually landed on her dad. Corey realized that if he accepted the job, he would have to make some major decisions about his own life.
"I ran my own club," he said. "I made all softball decisions – I answered to no one."
Not to mention he was working on a 15-year career as a school teacher in the Oakdale area.
"It took seven minutes to go from my house to my job daily," he said.
Corey made the tough decision to quit his job to become his daughter's top lieutenant. Not only has the sacrifice helped Alicia transition to her new career, it's strengthen their bond. Corey stays at her place in Hayward most nights because the commute home would create a strain.
They are the only father-daughter coaching tandem in division two softball. Alicia coaches third base, bumping Corey across the diamond to the first base box. Game planning and practice schedule decisions are generally made by Alicia. The unorthodox arrangement sometimes makes pregame lineup card meetings slightly confusing.
"I've gotten a few, 'Is that your husband?' questions," she said of the awkward initial conversations with other coaches.
And because they share the same genes, they also share a common coaching philosophy. Both claim disagreement is rare.
"The girls notice that when something happens in practice, immediately we both would start to say something," Corey explained. "And we were both about to say the same thing."
On the field it's strictly business, that's why Alicia refrains from calling Corey "Dad."
"I don't want to bring that type of relationship to the field," she said.
Reid is the Gators' third coach in four seasons, which has created some instability for the older players. But the coaching family has helped to create a similar vibe for the entire team.
"Of course they're going to butt heads, but for the most part, Alicia takes charge," said senior Madison Collins. "Their dynamic has helped us get along."
Parents love to facetiously remind their children that because they brought them into the world, they can take them out. That adage might work in reverse for the Reid's.
"Maybe one day he might want to move on. If I have to get rid of him, I have to get rid of him," Alicia said with a chuckle. "I don't foresee that happening."
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