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Jeff Garneau added spark to coaching staff
RUMFORD -- Jeff Garneau had the best seat in the house while patrolling the sidelines as the final seconds ticked off at the Class B state football championship game.
Garneau served as an assistant coach for Mountain Valley this past season.
Last summer, Garneau had a conversation with Matt Kaubris, who said that coach Jim Aylward thought it would be a good idea if Garneau joined the staff for 2010. Garneau was quite familiar with the senior class because his youngest son, Dan would have been a member. Dan past away in April of complications, resulting after battling leukemia.
“I felt apprehensive at first,” admitted Garneau. “Then after practices got started, I soon fell into a smooth groove.”
The Falcons dedicated the season to Danny and Jeff, who had coached AYF and joined the kids for the journey. The relationship immediately turned into a positive experience because it provided therapy for Garneau, his wife, Kim and the players.
“Having Jeff on the coaching staff this year has truly been a privilege,” said senior Christian Durland. “He brings that different personality to the team and that’s what is so great about this team. We have great chemistry both as players and the coaching staff. Every player and coach each has their own personality.”
Garneau became a fixture by attending each team practice, game and coaches meetings. The endeavor was taken seriously and Garneau kept the players pumped up by staying positive and brushing them off when they fell down. He knew that if a kid was having a bad day, he could make it better, and that’s exactly what he did.
“He definitely brought a spunk to the team and gives an extra spark to the fire when it was needed,” said Durland. “We all love him and honestly some of us actually look up to him as a second father. We would do anything for that guy.”
When the Falcons won the regional championship at Chet Bulger Field, Garneau held the plaque high and pointed to the heavens and said "happy birthday son" to honor Dan’s 18th.
“First off, I'd like to say that Danny was an absolute joy to be around, and Jeff is the exact same way,” said Cam Kaubris. “Both of these guys could lighten a room with their witty humor and jokes. Jeff has been exceeded expectations as a coach in my opinion. He has been a huge help to the coaching staff this season.”
Dan Garneau will be forever remembered because the football practice field at Mountain Valley was officially dedicated in his name.
“Kim also felt honored to have me be there for the boys; Dan's friends,” said Jeff. “The boys gave both of us the support we needed and hopefully we will be able to continue to support them in the future. We will continue to watch them as they go onto college and excel in life.”