Will Garnier

“Clean Mind and Body”
Words and music by Scott Simpson
with Mr. Tewahade’s, Mrs. Willmus’, and Mrs. Mason’s Students
©2013 Scott Simpson



      Will Garnier

Mr. Garnier’s a coach now…
He grew up playing all sports, and he was a dreamer
He dreamed of baseball…
A dream’s not all you need, oh there’s something else
Ah! A clean mind…
It controls your body, you’ll never quit
And your dreams will come to pass.

I’ll be a dreamer.
I’ll be a dreamer with a clean mind,
A clean mind, a clean mind.

A clean mind and body,
Clean mind and body.
Clean mind and body,
And never quit.

If you would be a dreamer
If you would be a dreamer,
Then keep your mind clean
And learn to believe, yes…
And never quit, oh never quit,
Ah! Never Quit!

Mr. Garnier helps kids now.
With what he learned from his father and his mother
What he taught his children
About what you need, oh what you need

I’ll be a dreamer
I’ll be a dreamer with a clean mind
A clean mind, a clean mind

A clean mind and body,
Clean mind and body
Clean mind and body,
And never quit.

Mr. Will Garnier was born in 1949 in Pine Ridge, and as a child he went hunting, trapping, and fishing with his father, and played sports like kitten ball in school. He said his parents were the most important influences in his life and that his father always told him, “Keep your head clear. Be honest. Be kind to others.”

In high school, he played all the sports he could: football, cross country, basketball, and track. But his favorite sport was baseball. He dreamed of playing for the big leagues and spent days practicing pitching in his backyard, sometimes throwing the ball 150 times. When he had only one baseball to use, he rigged up a target connected to a rain gutter which would bring his ball back to him.

Mr. Garnier started playing baseball in the American Legion and went to Chadron State and then transferred to Black Hills State University, but didn’t finish. He traveled to Cincinnati to try out for the Reds where he met Johnny Bench, the greatest catcher in baseball history. Although Mr. Garnier made the first cut, he didn’t make the next and practiced with the team only two and a half weeks. He says that if he could do it again, he wouldn’t have listened to people who told him to quit and he would have kept trying out for other teams.

Mr. Garnier served in Vietnam and also married. Although he said his first car was “a fast horse,” he said that the first car he bought was a 1959 Ford which he paid $200 for. He had twin sons, Don and Jon, followed by Verlyn. He worked for Indian Health Services in Aberdeen, Phoenix, and Pine Ridge.

Meanwhile, he remained actively involved in sports. When he was stationed in Germany, he coached baseball. In Phoenix, he became friends with the Sun’s Kareem Abdul Jabbar after meeting him at church. More coaching followed in Hot Springs and at Red Cloud.

Mr. Garnier coached the Oelrichs boy’s basketball team for the first time this past winter. Under his direction, they went on to become district champions for the first time in Oelrich’s history.

Along with coaching sports, Mr. Garnier also collects fossils, spends time with his family, and is active in both the Catholic Church and in Native American ceremonies. To this day, he remembers the best advice his father ever gave him:

“Keep clean, keep honest, treat people the way you want to be treated.”

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