Toms River High School East is honoring two of its most beloved staff members by naming portions of the school in their honor.
Toms River Regional school board members on Wednesday night voted unanimously to name the gymnasium after former Principal Richard J. Piscal. The school’s wrestling room will be named after legendary coach Warren Reid.
“My father was hired in the Toms River school district in 1965 as an English teacher and assistant football coach, but before that he served three years in the Army guarding Checkpoint Charlie where he was an MP commander,” said Reid’s son. “He learned selfless service, integrity, commitment to his mission and his troops and he learned to always do what is right. It guided him through his years as an educator and an administrator.”
Reid described his father as “firm, fair and always consistent,” and someone who always put students first.
“He always did what was best for the students, the parents and the community,” the younger Piscal said. “And he always had the betterment of Toms River schools on his mind.”
Kelly Conklin, a former wrestler at East, said he kept in touch with his coach for years after graduation, and got to see his son wrestle for Coach Reid as well.
“He would come to the middle school and encourage the kids who participated in middle school to keep it up in high school,” said Conklin. “He taught me early on that you don’t quit.”
Conklin said Reid put his “blood, sweat and tears” into the school’s wrestling program and helped shape the lives of thousands of students on and off the mats.
“He was all about turning these boys into the best men possible,” said Conklin, recalling a story about how Reid once bought him a new pair of wrestling shoes when his family did not have enough money to afford the shoes the rest of the team was buying.
Years later, “Coach Reid still had my old wrestling shoes,” he recalled. “The sentimental value of that, you can’t put a price on it.”
At a time when the district is facing financial hardship and considering cuts to sports, honoring great coaches is even more important, he said.
“That encouragement, and the tools Coach Reid gives you to put in your toolbox, are invaluable,” Conklin said.
Both men’s names were added to their respective rooms following a petition drive that collected hundreds of signatures.