By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Warwick — John Garcia worked with one of Warwick’s new kickers as a steady drizzle fell on the Wildcats’ practice field on Monday.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Garcia’s son, also named John, a jayvee coach, shadowed head coach Greg Sirico during a variety of drills. Father and son began coaching together two years ago after the younger Garcia graduated from Hartwick College.
This season, it will be John and John — plus one Garcia — at Warwick. Brad Garcia, who like his older brother starred at Warwick and Hartwick, has joined the Wildcats’ staff as the freshman coach. He is a newly minted Special Education at Warwick Middle School and was at practice on Monday.
Of course, Garcia has been a household name in Warwick for decades.
“It’s a little crazy,” said the eldest Garcia, who has coached in the Warwick program for 41 years. He was the school’s head coach from 1981-86 and is now a varsity assistant. “It’s obviously a lot of fun for me to be out here. Not only with my two sons, but with some coaches who played for me. Never in a million years did I think that this would happen. I just feel blessed to be out here with these guys with everything that they accomplished.”
Many college kids prefer not to return to their hometown after college graduation, but Warwick is a beautiful community, and the Garcia family has long been connected to it. John and Brad’s grandfather, Rocco, starred for Warwick in the 1940s. He is now 93-years-old and attends every Warwick game.
Rocco Garcia left high school early to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II and received his honorary Warwick high school diploma in June of 2017. John and Brad’s mother, Gwen, teaches physical education at the Warwick Middle School and is a fixture in the district. Her nephew, Nick, is expected to be a standout linebacker for Warwick this year.
“This was just a really good opportunity that I was given,” said Brad Garcia, who graduated from Hartwick in May. “I had to take for a chance to work with my brother and my father. My brother and I have done everything together since we were born. I just couldn’t pass this up.”
Added his brother John, a Special Education teacher at Warwick High: “It makes no sense for us to leave Warwick. We are at the perfect spot and I couldn’t picture us wanting to be anywhere else. It’s wild. We can’t seem to get away from Warwick which is a good thing.”
John Garcia was a two-year starting quarterback at Warwick, throwing for 2,754 yards as a senior in 2011. His brother Brad was his favorite target that year, catching 48 passes for 918 yards and nine touchdowns. John Garcia went on to start at quarterback three years at Hartwick. Brad switched from wide receiver to quarterback and as a senior rushed for 2,549 yards and 27 touchdowns from under center.
He played wide receiver at Division III Hartwick and finished his four-year career as the school’s record holder in receptions (220) and reception yards (4,101). Brad Garcia could have pursued a professional football career in Europe or Canada, but instead decided to come home when he graduated in May.
“As long as everything goes the way it should, I don’t see me or my brother going anywhere anytime soon,” Brad Garcia said. “We have a lot of football knowledge and a lot of history here. We can really help a lot of kids and win a lot of championships if we stick around.”
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