More Than Just A Spotlight: Coach Dave Reinhart

Marty Keane profiles the man whose guidance lead the HHS cross country team to success: Coach Dave Reinhart!


Holyoke High Cross-Country (XC), has been revived in the past decade. They have gone from being non-competitive to a perennial division champ and a top team in Western Massachusetts. Many would say this miraculous turn around can be credited to their head coach, Dave Reinhart.

Reinhart, a New Jersey native, is starting his eighth year as head coach for the Holyoke High boys XC team. He started running in eighth grade because his brother was a runner. In high school, he was both All-State in XC and track. As a senior, he ran a 4:18 mile and a 9:23 two-mile on the track team in 1970.

After high school, Dave received a four year scholarship to American University in DC, a Division 1 college. When Reinhart was a captain, he led his team to a 19th place finish in the 1971 NCAA championships against competition like Steve Prefontaine of the University of Oregon. He competed in three straight NCAA Championships and was a finalist in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 3000 meter steeplechase.

After college, Dave continued to progress as a runner for years. He set personal records of a 4:02 mile, a 13:58 5K, and a 2:23:20 marathon. Over the age of 40, Reinhart kept running. He ran a 4:21 mile at age 42 and won multiple National Track and XC championships. Just two years ago, he was still able to run an impressive 5:27 mile. Reinhart also carried the Olympic torch in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Torch Relay.

As a business career, Dave was a former Director of Sales and Marketing for Spalding Sports. Since 2000 he has been Senior Vice-President and co-partner of Sports Group International, which is an executive recruiting firm. Even throughout his business career he has been able to be able to be a part time coach in assisting many runners from youth, to high school, to college, to being a Masters runner.

Reinhart, currently a resident of Northampton, is the very successful head coach for Holyoke boys cross-country, and also coaches Indoor and Outdoor track for Holyoke High. His greatest achievements have been what he’s been able to do for the XC team.

He became the head coach in 2008 after seeing the job opening in the newspaper. “I knew I wanted to coach high school kids after many years of running myself.” He applied for the job to the athletic director, and got the job soon after that.

The program then was not like what it is now. “I think the program has evolved since 2008,” said Reinhart. Back then there were only 8 runners, now the numbers are up to around 40. “Not only has the level of interest, but the level of seriousness of the program and turning it into a winning program have been some of the nice things to see about it.”

When asked what he did to change the program, Reinhart said, “What we did was install a sense of urgency and a sense that hard work pays off. If you really put your mind to something you can achieve great things and we did that on both an individual basis and just in terms of the whole team. The attitude was that we would give 100% and that would turn into winning”.

And it has turned into winning! In the past six years they have won the league banner four times and in that span they have won over fifty of their dual meets while only losing three times. They made it to the state meet in Reinhart’s third year after being a bottom tier team.

Under the guidance of Coach Reinhart, the HHS Cross Country team won Western Mass this year!
Under the guidance of Coach Reinhart, the HHS Cross Country team won Western Mass this year!

Making it to the state meet has been the team’s goal ever since. To make it to the state meet your team must finish third or better over more than thirty teams. Last year, they made it to the state meet by finishing third in Western Mass. This year, they won the whole Western Mass XC championship meet by finishing first with four runners finishing in the top seven. It was Holyoke’s first time ever winning the championship in the 60 year history of the meet.

Holyoke Cross Country finished strongly in States, coming in eighth and making Holyoke proud.

Cam Correia ‘17 is one of Dave Reinhart’s top runners and this year he posted a Holyoke High record in a 5K race with a time of 15:55. Correia thinks Reinhart “is really motivating and always trying to find ways to help you become a better athlete, student, and person in general.” Correia is inspirtd by Reinhart’s “driven attitude.” Whatever he does in his life, whether it is running, business, or life he does it 100% and that’s what makes him great,” says Correia.

As anyone who knows him will tell you, Dave Reinhart is a great coach and a great human being. He changes the lives of all the young runners he coaches and inspires them. He is responsible for Holyoke High’s great success in XC through his hard work and determination. Holyoke High is lucky to have him.