The innovation is what won over the North Thurston football community.
After one season as the defensive coordinator, William Garrow has been named as the seventh head coach in the program’s history.
“His communication skills, organization, work ethic and commitment has been clearly evident,” Rams athletic director Eddie Gentry said. “And he’s a self-proclaimed high school football geek, which is neat.”
Garrow spent his first season with North Thurston helping retool the Rams’ practice format and offseason preparation, and implementing recruiting outreach via social media under the tutelage of Rocky Patchin.
Patchin retired at the conclusion of the season after 24 years with the program. Garrow was hired as his replacement Jan. 13.
“It’s his time now, he’s really earned it,” Patchin said. “I thought he did a great job for me last year. That’s the primary reason I brought him in, knowing I was going to be retiring pretty soon.”
Neither party expected it would be after one season, but both indicated Garrow was a likely candidate for the position when it opened.
“I definitely didn’t expect it to happen this quickly,” Garrow said. “I’m extremely grateful.”
This will be Garrow’s first football head coaching job (he has five years of experience as the baseball coach). Prior to arriving at North Thurston, he spent eight years as an assistant coach at Steilacoom.
Garrow will be tasked with coaching North Thurston in its first season with the Class 3A South Puget Sound League. A current member of the 3A Narrows, North Thurston joined the SPSL, along with Timberline, earlier this month.
The relocation followed a new school district policy, which is intended to balance attendance between North Thurston, Timberline and River Ridge.
“I think he’s the guy to take North Thurston through what could be a rough transition going to a new league and new boundary change,” Patchin said. “He does all the right things that you want a coach to do.”
North Thurston finished 5-5 overall and 3-4 in league in 2015. Garrow said he wants to change the way the program approaches football, and extend the season beyond the parameters of August to December.
“Xs and Os aren’t going to win us games in the fall,” he said. “If we can instill the kind of culture I want with these guys, and the work ethic and commitment, then the wins will come.”