The Truth About Andy Reid's Sons

The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years on Feb. 2, 2020. It was a major moment for the players, their fans, and the whole state of Missouri — but it was especially touching for Chiefs coach Andy Reid. "He's one of the best coaches of all time; he already was before we won this game," quarterback Patrick Mahomes told ESPN. While the 61-year-old coach was joined for the big win by his wife and children, there was also someone missing: his late son Garrett, who died of a heroin overdose nearly eight years ago.

Reid's own words reveal that Garrett was deeply missed during the game, but there for the special moment in spirit. This family clearly has been through a lot in recent years — both highs and lows — so let's take a closer look at what football fans may not know about Reid's personal life, including a shared love of coaching with his other son, Britt.

Andy Reid felt his son Garrett's presence at the Super Bowl

Andy Reid is not only the coach of a championship football team. He's also a father and husband. He and his wife, Tammy, had five children together: Britt, Spencer, Crosby, Drew Ann, and Garrett. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Garrett was 29 when he died of a heroin overdose in August 2012. The family released a statement after the cause of death was revealed in October of that year (via ESPN): "These results sadly confirmed what we had expected all along. We understood that Garrett's long-standing battle with addiction was going to be difficult. He will, however, always have our family's love and respect for the courage he showed in trying to overcome it. In the end, we take comfort in our faith and know that he's in a better place."

After his 2020 Super Bowl victory, Reid said, via the Inquirer, "You can't help but think of [Garrett]. Absolutely." The coach was also asked what the win meant to his family. He responded, "I think it's great for them ... With the loss of Garrett, he was there for us, with us." Coach Reid's daughter, Crosby, said, "It was a moment with our family where we all got to cry and really feel my brother looking down on us. Garrett's spirit was there." Reid's wife said, "The fact that we were all here, that was amazing, except for 'G.' So sad, but I know he's watching us." 

Andy Reid's son, Britt, had his share of struggles too

Two of Andy Reid's sons — Garrett and Britt — battled addiction and spent time in jail, according to The Washington Post. In fact, the brothers were arrested hours apart on the same day in January 2007: Garrett was arrested for on charges of drug possession, while Britt was arrested for reportedly for pointing a gun at someone and having drugs in his car. They were both sentenced to time in jail, and a judge reportedly referred to the Reids as "a family in crisis." The then-Philadelphia Eagles coach took a five-week leave of absence — one of his first breaks from coaching. When he did return to football, he integrated weekly visits to his sons in jail, which was an hour away, as part of his routine.

Coach Reid had initially kept his family struggles private, before it all blew up in a very public way in 2007. The controversy underscores the idea that it's easy to memorize a sports team's stats and watch them play (or in this case, coach) football, but those athletic icons may be battling a whole different situation off the field. You never really know the hardships someone's going through.

Britt Reid has turned his life around and even coaches with his dad

Following his struggles with drugs, Andy Reid's son, Britt, turned his life around and is now married with three children, per The Washington Post. He's also the linebackers coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, working alongside his famous dad. Andy admitted to the New York Post that he's a little hard on his son, "but that comes with the territory when you're the coach's kid." Most importantly, "I'm proud of him for the job he's done."

Britt discussed his brother Garrett's absence with NBC Sports ahead of Super Bowl LIV, saying, "We all miss him. He would love this. He loved sports, he loved football. He would have been in heaven right here. It is what it is, but it would have been special, definitely." 

Although there are no words to adequately describe the loss that the Reid family went through, it's clear that they've learned to lean on each other through the hard times, Garrett's presence was right there with them when the Chiefs won America's Game.