By John Bombatch
When I got the call on Tuesday night with the news that longtime Beavercreek High School Athletic Director Bevan Garwood Jr. had passed away, I was saddened that I had never met him. With his sports athletics background, both as a player and a coach, and with his experiences as the BHS Athletic Director for so many years, I realized that I’d missed out on a chance to learn from one of the area’s finest sports ambassadors around.
Garwood, 69, passed away on Monday after a bout with cancer. My wife is currently battling that horrible disease, and so I hate to hear of anyone having to deal with that, let alone die from it. My condolences go out to his family and friends.
Current Beavercreek A.D. Brad Pompos was kind enough to send me a copy of the nominee form, from when Garwood was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
Bevan served as the school’s A.D. for 17 years, from 1984 to 2001. And during that time, a lot of the behind-the-scenes nuances that have created Beaver athletics as they are seen today, were brought about by him.
His list of accomplishments includes:
• Computerized the Athletic Department.
• Worked on ways to improve the Boosters fundraiser.
• Created a program cover design contest with the school’s art department. (I like this one. Maybe they could bring this back in his honor? Nothing against the current program covers, but it would be nice to get the students involved.)
• Moved the Homecoming parade to Thursdays to help eliminate traffic congestion on Football Fridays.
• Brought back the football rivalry with neighboring foe Carroll. (I like this one, too, in all sports.)
• Implemented paid parking for football games. (Hmmm. Not a fan of this one, but I can understand the need for funding.)
• Introduced a new logo of the Beaver for the stage wall, and personally painted it.
• Brought a high-tech outdoor scoreboard into place for Frank Zink Field, thanks to a deal formed with a major soft drink company.
• Created a second-chance intervention program for student athletes who misused drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
There was mention of his ‘extreme activism’ in regard to the Certified Athletic Administrators, conference attendance and public speaking as well.
Xenia High School named Bevan to its athletic hall in 2014 as a member of the Western Ohio League champion football team on 1964. I saw where he was a first-team all-Ohio selection that year, and was an Honorable Mention selection as an All-American that season.
He was a football trainer, boys gymnastics coach and boys tennis coach, and also served as an assistant varsity football coach and an assistant eighth grade football coach during his time at Beavercreek.
I never knew Bevan Garwood, Jr., but I can say that I’m not alone when I say that his efforts in building the Beavercreek High School athletic programs will always be appreciated.
In many ways, Garwood’s work back then helped to develop the school’s athletic program into the highly respected machine it has become today.
Thanks Bevan, for everything you did for Beavercreek Athletics. I never met you, but whenever I step onto the BHS campus, I’ll know that you helped make Beavercreek High School what it is today.
John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.