Chaney continues to mourn loss of respected coach
The baseball team honored Bob Garcar this season by wearing black patches on their uniforms.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Chaney High was Bob Garcar's second home.
"He loved his school and he loved his job," said Michele Garcar, Bob's wife.
Bob Garcar graduated from Chaney in 1950 and later began a 25-year teaching and coaching career there.
"We refer to Bob as solid, simply because you knew he was going to be there," said Chaney athletic director Jim Mullally. "He was that guiding hand for a lot of us."
Three months after Chaney lost long-time track coach and teacher Frank Kovach to a heart attack, the Cowboys were forced to deal with yet another loss. Garcar passed away in March at age 68 after a one-year bout with cancer.
Loved one: "You couldn't say enough about him," said Ed Matey, former football coach and athletic director at Chaney. "At the funeral we were all completely out of control as far as tears and crying, because he was such a good person."
As head coach of the baseball team, Garcar led the Cowboys to five sectional titles and three district crowns. They were state semifinalists in 1975 and state runners-up the following year.
"He was a no-nonsense guy -- get down and dirty and just get it done," said Mike Popio, Chaney's current baseball coach who played under Garcar.
The Cowboys remembered Garcar this season by wearing black patches, which contained his initials, on their uniforms.
"That's what I admired about him," Popio said. "He didn't play the game soft, he didn't play with finesse. It was go after it."
Mullally said, "Bob was like a gentle giant. We tell the story that you wanted to hit a home run or double, because if you ended up on third with a triple, he'd give you a love tap that almost knocked you out."
Garcar carried that same aggressive mentality into his position as assistant football coach under Matey, but Garcar always showed that he cared.
"He was a very sincere person," Matey said. "He cared about the kids, and everything he did reflected the fact that he always put the kids in front of everything, in the classroom and as a coach."
Involvement: Garcar taught history, social studies and health at Chaney and was the basketball program's clock operator for 30 years.
"He was part of the Chaney family," Michele said. "They were more than students; they were families he knew from the West Side growing up. He had them in class and then he had them on his teams."
Garcar was a standout football player at Chaney and Youngstown State University. He earned All-City honors in high school and All-American honors as an offensive-defensive guard at YSU.
He is a member of the Chaney High and YSU halls of fame.
"He was like a father image to me and my staff," Matey said. "He was older than us. He was the guy who said, 'Hey, let's do this, let's do that.'
"With the kids, it was the same way," Matey said. "He demanded a lot of them on the field and, at the same time, didn't walk off the field without putting his arm around somebody."