Tim Garro, Class of 1982
Kewpie of the Month "July 2002"
From the Mountain View Journal (Moriarty, New Mexico) June 15, 2002

Tim Garro's Light Approach Leads to Wins


By Tim Menicutch
Journal Staff Writer

At first glance, Tim Garro comes across as downright intimidating.
    It takes only one conversation with the square-bodied Estancia High head football/baseball coach to learn that looks can be deceiving.
    Garro, with his blunt style and dry humor, is immediately likable.
    "One of my players told me one time that the difference between me and other coaches he'd had was that I was still a kid," said Garro, who guided Estancia to undefeated district campaigns in both football and baseball last school year.
    Garro is a kid, at least at heart, and a big kid, at that — 6 feet, 275 pounds. He never takes his profession — or himself, for that matter — too seriously.
    During the baseball season, Garro referred to himself as the Don Zimmer of high school baseball coaches. Anybody who has seen Zimmer knows that's not exactly a flattering comparison.
    But Garro is completely comfortable with who and where he is. He thoroughly enjoys coaching high school athletes — a fact that becomes apparent after watching him in action, whether it's in the dugout or roaming the sidelines.
    Garro always seems to be having fun.
    Garro recalls a time during the past baseball season when the Bears fell behind Tucumcari 7-2 after both Steve Coburn and Casey Morris yielded booming home runs.
    "After the second homer, when the team got back to the dugout I yelled at (left-fielder) Omar Ochoa to come over and talk to me," said Garro. " 'Which one of your teammates gave up the longer home run?' Ochoa just looked at me. I told him I really wanted to know. 'Those were both big shots, but tell us which one went farther.' Everybody started laughing and relaxed. We went on and won the game 11-10."
    Some coaches, of the football variety in particular, are so caught up in the action on the field that even talking to them during a game is a grave mistake.
    But Garro, although he's as intent as any coach, is always ready with a one-line wisecrack or a funny insight even in the middle of a game.
    That's not to say Garro is without a fiery side. Anybody who's heard him rip a football official after a questionable call knows differently.
    "Sometimes I go off on an official just to fire the team up," said Garro. "After (the team) watches that, they usually go out and play with some fire."
    Garro grew up in Missouri. He played high school football as a lineman and landed a scholarship at Central Methodist University, where he played three years as a starting left tackle.
    In 11 years as a high school head football coach, Garro has earned a reputation as a quality quarterback coach. He has already coached five different all-state quarterbacks. Recently graduated Estancia senior Steve Coburn earned all-state honors three consecutive years under Garro's guidance.
    "As an ex-lineman, I know exactly what I want out of a quarterback," said Garro. "If you block for quarterbacks long enough, you figure out exactly what you want them to do."
    Garro is convinced the best quarterbacks possess a lineman's mentality.
    "I've never had a quarterback that was afraid to stick his nose into it," said Garro. "There's nothing worse than a namby-pamby quarterback. I want a kid that isn't afraid to get down and get dirty. I look for kids like that."
    Garro is excited about his prospective starting quarterback for this year's team, junior Justin Danella.
    "He's tough and he's a good learner," said Garro. "He has a nice nasty streak in him. I don't know if that's a contradiction in terms or not."
    Garro, who has guided Estancia to the state football playoffs in two of his three seasons at the helm, says his coaching philosophy is hard to put into words.
    "When we're on the field, we practice hard. When we're off it, we relax," said Garro. "Some coaches spend eight hours a day on football. But I figure if you're not going to get it done in two hours, you're not going to get it done. After two hours you've lost the kids anyway. They have other things to do — homework, girlfriends, chores and so on."
    Garro is known as a fair coach. He says when the first day of practice starts, everybody is on the same level whether it be a returning all-state player or a raw-boned ninth-grader.
    "There's no favoritism. Everybody's on the same grid," said Garro. "I don't care who you are. You might be a three-year starter, but if you don't do your job, you won't play. I tell the kids, once they have a starting spot, it's theirs to keep. But I also remind that it's theirs to lose, too."
    Garro is also a firm believer in giving everybody a chance to make the team.
    He recalls the first time he saw 1999 Estancia graduate Steve McDonald at a football practice.
    "He was a senior and he'd never played," said Garro. "When you saw the kid, you figured there's no way on God's green Earth he should even be on a football field. He turned out to be an all-district strong safety.
    "Sometimes you deal with ninth-graders that can't even put their jock on straight," he continued. "But you never know how good that ninth-grader might turn out to be by the time he's junior. That's why we give everybody a chance."
    Probably Garro's best attribute is his ability to understand teen-agers.
    "I really enjoy seeing the kids succeed," he said. "I always keep in mind that they're just kids. They're going to make mistakes. If they made a million dollars a year, maybe you could rip them up and down. But they don't. They're out there to have fun."
    Maybe it's not so surprising that Garro understands kids so well. After all, he's just a big kid himself.
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