SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The winningest coach in Brandon Valley history, Chad Garrow, passed away last Friday, following a long battle with brain cancer. Garrow coached a long list of talented players in his time in Brandon, including standout quarterback, Austin Sumner.
“He’s a friend to so many of us athletes, students and people in the community. Everybody really loved coach Garrow and he was just such a happy guy. He had so many hobbies and everything he did he was all in.”Austin Sumer – 2009 Graduate of Brandon Valley
Austin Sumner was a three year starting quarterback for Brandon Valley, but he may not have played QB had it not been for Chad Garrow.
“If it weren’t for him, I’d probably be a tight end or maybe not a quarterback,” former Brandon Valley standout quarterback Austin Sumner said. “He kind of embraced my skill set coming out of middle school and helped develop me into a quarterback. He really committed to my strengths.”
Garrow instilled confidence in Sumner which led to 14 school records and eight state records.
“He had this motto, ‘rain, wind or snow, we’ll still throw’. It was funny for a lot of people, but for me it instilled a lot of confidence in me, just to know that I had his support and his confidence in me,” Sumner said.
The Lynx won plenty of games using their passing attack in the late 2000’s. However, Sumner says Garrow’s ability to build a plan to fit each year’s team is what made him such a great coach.
“He was so adaptable to what he thought his team would succeed at. Like in my years, we threw the ball all of the time,” Sumner said. “He committed to that plan and we had a ton of success and then you saw him kind of change his philosophy to more of a running style and he had even more success.”
Sumner would go on to become a standout QB at SDSU, and credited much of that to Garrow, who’s impact upon him went well beyond the football field.
“There’s so many lessons that I think about, randomly and I’ll probably continue to think about from our time together at Brandon. Then him setting me up for my time at South Dakota State, where I met my wife and his impact is eternal. I’ll always be reminded of his impact for the rest of my life,” Sumner said.