His announcement came at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
With a masters in exercise science, Reynolds had always planned to work closely with athletes. He did so at QCHS for a few years when it was a 2A school and then again just before becoming the official athletic director at the high school.
Not one to talk about his many accomplishments, Reynolds is a hard guy not to like.
“Paul [Reynolds] has a unique gift of making others feel comfortable around him,” said head QCHS football coach Joe Germaine. “There are not many men that are more imposing than Paul Reynolds, yet he makes us all feel empowered by his selfless and genuine character.”
Reynolds, who played football on the 1996 Arizona State Rose Bowl team, was bested by Ohio State’s Germaine in the final minutes of that bowl game. Hiring Germaine as his school’s head football coach became somewhat of a joke to many who knew their football history.
“Reynolds is one of the greatest men I have met in my life,” said Germaine. “Look at his amazing accomplishments over his lifetime. Look at his amazing family. Paul gave me my first opportunity to be a high school football head coach. He believed in me and provided me with unmatched support and guidance throughout the process.”
Reynold’s task at the beginning of his tenure was to ensure the success of a very quickly growing high school. Originally planned to only hold 1,000 students, Queen Creek High School has grown from a small 2A school to a legitimate 6A contender with over 2,000 students.
“We went from 2A to 6A in a very short time span and hardly anyone does it that quickly,” said Reynolds of the growth. “Moving up has made it so our athletes could be successful. We are still one of the small schools in 6A, but we are competing and that speaks to our athletes and our coaches being able to respond to that.”
Among his many significant accomplishments as the athletic director, Reynolds helped bring the Bulldog community its first state championship in both football, boys soccer and wrestling. Girls volleyball also completed a historical season finishing as the 5A state runner up in 2017.
Reynolds helped former QCHS athletic director Tot Workman before officially becoming the Bulldog AD in 2008.
From the beginning, Reynolds number one goal was to hire on great coaches and improve facilities so that athletes would have the best opportunity to excel. To this end, the numbers speak for themselves in showing just how successful he has been.
During Reynold’s tenure, the high school won eight state championships and had seven runner-up finishes. Individually, there were over 30 state champions, many coming from wrestling and track and field. Most significantly, Reynolds put Queen Creek athletes on the map for college recruiters from around the country. In his final signing day as athletic director the school signed 24 Bulldog athletes to college teams, including three to Division I universities.
“Not only is he a stalwart on campus, but his impact [on] all of our sports teams is felt today,” said Germaine. “Paul’s expertise in athletic development is world renowned. Our student athletes at Queen Creek have programming and council from a man that is and has trained some of the most elite athletes in the world.”
Reynolds takes great pride in making an impact on the kids and the coaches who have worked under him noticed his dedication to them, first and foremost.
“Coach Reynolds has done an amazing job these last 15 years as our QCHS Athletic Director,” said head boys soccer coach Mauricio Ramirez. “He took pride in our athletic programs right from the get go. He made numerous changes to our athletic facilities and he spent countless hours working on our fields and weight rooms during his personal time. Coach Reynolds has always been a very easy-going person who allowed students, coaches, staff and community members to approach him and voice their concerns. He would listen to us and help us solve problems or issues that needed to be fixed.”
It has never been about the recognition for Reynolds. Those who are around him most know him best for his desire to make everyone around him feel important. Even now, he doesn’t want any fanfare regarding his step down as athletic director.
“He was not just an AD, he saw you as family and that meant a lot to us coaches,” said Ramirez. “Due to the leadership of Coach Reynolds our programs excelled and received great recognition in the state of Arizona and brought QCHS several championships from football, soccer, track and other programs. Coach Reynold’s true leadership throughout the years proved that when family is close nothing is impossible to accomplish and that’s what he brought to QCHS. He might not be our AD this year, but his hard work and dedication will continue as our weights instructor. He will continue to push and make our athletics first class on and off the field. Above all, I have the highest respect and admiration for Coach Reynolds.”
Reynolds will certainly be back in his comfort zone as he is able to more closely mentor and guide these young Bulldog athletes in the weight room. More than anything his impact has been felt by all of the athletes who have known Coach Reynolds.
“I’m able to be helping kids on a more personal level and have gotten back to my roots,” said Reynolds. “I can help kids succeed much better in this role. It’s all about the kids.”
Reynolds will be succeeded by another successful athletic director in her own right, Renee Regoli, who comes to QCHS from Campo Verde.
“I’m excited to be able to work with [Paul] and I’m excited he’s still going to be on this campus and in this community because he’s done some wonderful things as the athletic director here,” said Regoli of Reynolds. “I’m looking forward to seeing what he does as a strength and conditioning coach.”
Reynolds says he is grateful for the time he’s had as the school’s athletic director and is looking forward to this new experience.
“I want to be here forever and my kids want to as well,” said Reynolds. “We are and want to be Bulldogs forever.”