THE URI RAMS TAKE ON MERRIMACK SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2 AT 1PM ON YURVIEW, COX CHANNEL 4 IN RHODE ISLAND
For all the kicks he sent skyward, Anthony Garro kept his eyes firmly on the future.
Rhody football wasn’t going to last forever. For someone whose life revolved around sports in high school – football in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in the spring – Garro held a strong desire to remain in the sports field upon graduating this past spring from the University of Rhode Island.
Fortunately for Garro, his first post-college employment opportunity contained that “old home week” vibe.
After capping off his four-year run with the URI football team as the Rams’ starting punter, Garro has turned the page to now working inside the university’s athletics marketing office. It’s a part-time role in which he primarily handles social media for URI football but will also branch out to men’s and women’s basketball once their seasons start.
The next time you’re scrolling through your Twitter or Instagram accounts, do yourself a favor and type in RhodyFootball – all one word. Garro’s handiwork is on full display. Much like he dedicated himself to working on his craft as a punter, he’s applied that similar mindset to his social media focus.
For this native of Westerly, there’s no better way to get your feet wet in the non-playing sports sector than doing so at your good ole alma mater.
“To be able to grow up in Rhode Island and go to school at URI, and now be able to work for the university is a special opportunity,” said Garro.
A 2014 graduate of Westerly High School, Garro attended Wilbraham & Monson Academy before walking on to the URI football program in the fall of 2015. It was at the Massachusetts-based prep school that he first picked up punting.
After being redshirted, Garro began the long climb up the ladder. Prior to the 2017 season, he had gained enough of head coach Jim Fleming’s trust to be able to go on the field as the starting holder. He appeared in all 11 games that season and earned high marks for his contributions on special teams.
The summer heading into the 2018 season, Garro took it up a notch and headed into preseason camp more confident in himself. Looking back, winning the punting job was “the fulfillment of a dream. It was something I had been working towards since I first picked up a football in eighth grade.”
On the field, Garro averaged 31.8 yards per punt attempt on 60 attempts. His career long boot was a 51-yarder at Connecticut on Sept. 15, 2018. Twelve times, he dropped a punt inside the opposing team’s 20-yard line with would-be punt returners signaling for fair catch on 26 occasions.
“Fulfilling that starting punting role was a big goal of mine,” said Garro.
As Garro was busy living out life as a college football contributor, he was also learning the ropes to the line of work he planned to pursue upon graduation.
During his redshirt sophomore and junior seasons, Garro interned in URI’s Sports Information Department. Under the wing of Assistant AD Shane Donaldson, Garro saw firsthand that if you want to go places, having a strong drive is essential.
“Just to see Shane’s work ethic and dedication, not only to his work, but to the people around him, the way he cares for others, taught me a lot,” said Garro, who majored in public relations. “Between the two of us, we’ve built a great relationship.”
Garro kept in constant contact with Donaldson about ways to further develop his professional career. Technically, he could have returned to the URI football team this season for his fifth and final year of eligibility. Instead, he opted to travel down a road that he believed would benefit him in the bigger, more important picture.
“I got to thinking about the future a lot during [the 2018 season]. I thought getting the opportunity to be on the other side of things was a step in the right direction in terms of life after college, and I didn’t want to miss it,” said Garro.
In an effort to get ahead, Garro armed himself with important tools of the social media trade; an Apple MacBook and a camera he borrowed from a friend. His first big assignment was the 2019 URI Football Pro Day that took place in Kingston and was attended by several NFL scouts.
“I went full force into it and believe I’ve gotten better with each passing week,” said Garro.
As summer gave way to fall, Garro was handed the keys to the Rams’ football social media accounts. It’s a responsibility that he doesn’t take lightly. On game-days at Meade Stadium, you’ll find Garro on the URI sideline with a camera in his possession. The goal is to take the best possible photo and jazz it up with a noteworthy statistic before publishing.
“I’m glad I have people around me who believe in me and have given me this great opportunity,” said Garro. “To be able to contribute to the football team in a different way … I just wanted to take it and run with it.”
2019 YurView URI Football Broadcast Schedule:
- Sept. 7 – Delaware, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 – Stony Brook, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 26 – Elon, 1 p.m.
- Nov. 2 – Merrimack, 1 p.m.
- Nov. 23 – James Madison, 12 p.m.