FINDLAY Life can be all about timing and, for the most part, Scott Garlock s timing has been pretty good.
The third-year Liberty-Benton football coach has often been at the right places at the right times.
This season, when his Eagles won the Blanchard Valley Conference for the first time in 26 years, the time was right for Garlock to be selected as The Blade 2004 coach of the year.
Garlock, 33, guided L-B to a 10-0 (9-0 BVC) regular-season finish and a No. 4 final state ranking in Division V before a 45-32 regional semifinal playoff loss to Patrick Henry ended the Eagles best season ever at 11-1. They outscored foes 564-116.
Garlock was chosen over some other fine candidates, including Whitmer s Dan Fought, Clay s Jeff Lee, Napoleon s John Snoad, and first-year Hopewell-Loudon coach Brian Colatruglio.
While a sophomore and junior at Findlay High School in 1987 and 88, Garlock played quarterback for current St. Francis coach Dick Cromwell. When Cromwell exited, Garlock played his senior season for Jerry Buti, who is now coach at Defiance.
Both of those veteran coaches have won state championships (Cromwell in 1984 and 2001 at St. Francis; Buti in 1997 at Defiance). Garlock then played at the University of Findlay for Dick Strahm, who won three NAIA national titles.
He worked one year as an assistant at Findlay High, then spent six seasons (1995-2000) as an assistant to Buti at Defiance. A quarterbacks coach, he worked with two All-Ohio QBs, Joe Williamson and Drew Price.
Even when the timing wasn t so great, a major crossroads decision made by Garlock still panned out.
I would have been happy to be an assistant coach in Defiance with Jerry forever, Garlock said. But my father died and I wanted to move back closer to my mother. My dad was the greatest parent you could ever have had for being an athlete. He supported me and he supported my coaches and he stayed out of the way.
Garlock helped turn around a struggling BVC program at Cory-Rawson (4-6 as head coach in 2001), then got the job at L-B.
Liberty-Benton had been a traditional also-ran in the BVC.
Garlock did his homework, talking to players and coaches and community members about the football situation. He also installed a spread offense.
The kids responded, Garlock said. It s amazing. If they wouldn t have done all those things, it wouldn t have happened.
The Eagles went 6-4 in 2002, 8-3 with the school s first playoff appearance last year, and 11-1 this season. They defeated McComb last season for the first time in more than 10 years, and this year blanked Hardin Northern 35-0 to win the title. It was the school s first win over the Polar Bears in 18 years.
Football was kind of a hobby around here, Garlock said. So, we just made the kids work, and they did everything we asked. We made it important to them. I don t think it was important to the kids before.
We put in a lot of time with lifting and running and that helped us become physically and mentally stronger. When you put so much time and effort into something, it s more difficult to surrender.
Garlock and wife, Angie, have five children son Brandon, 16, a junior L-B player; daughters Taylor, 6, and Carson, 4; and twin sons Lincoln and Cameron, who were born last May.
He considers his coaching style the product of his extended (football) family.
On Cromwell: I learned a lot of skills from him that I ve taught to my players, and I still use a lot of those same drills.
On Buti: He has amazing work ethic. I learned to appreciate all the little things he did. He was my biggest mentor, and I credit every success I have to him.
On Strahm: He taught me to keep a sense of humor. To be able to laugh and keep the kids happy.
As for his timing, maybe that just comes naturally.