Valdamar Brower, Central football rule Division 3 again

  • Florence native and UMass grad Valdamar Brower coaching Springfield Central during the Division 3 football state championship against Duxbury on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Gilette Stadium.  STAFF PHOTO/GAGE NUTTER

  • Florence native and UMass grad Valdamar Brower (center) coaching Springfield Central during the Division 3 football state championship against Duxbury on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Gilette Stadium.  STAFF PHOTO/GAGE NUTTER 

  • Florence native and UMass grad Valdamar Brower (right) with captains from the Springfield Central football team at the Massachusetts Division 3 football state championship trophy presentation.  STAFF PHOTO/GAGE NUTTER

Staff Writer
Published: 12/9/2019 6:39:17 PM

FOXBOROUGH — When Northampton High School and UMass alum Valdamar Brower first became head football coach at Springfield Central in 2008, a sectional championship, let alone a state title, was far out of reach.

Brower’s first team went 5-6, but 10 years later, he has built a program that competes with, and sometimes beats, eastern Massachusetts powerhouses and wins state championships.

Central won its second-straight Division 3 state championship by defeating Duxbury, 38-13, on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

“It’s been a real team effort,” Brower said. “Administration, coaches and former coaches, but it comes down to the kids. ... Our players built this program. The kids are unbelievable. I think they have shown that time and time again.”

Brower played for the late Frank Tudryn and graduated in 1999. He went on to play defensive line under Mark Whipple at UMass from 2000-03 and is the program’s all-time leader in tackles for loss (63), quarterback hurries (40) and blocked kicks (six). He was named a Division I-AA first-team All-American in 2001 and to the second team in 2002.

“He coaches how he played. Straight full-on attack,” Central defensive lineman Tyson Thornton said. “He is very hands-on. He over prepares.”

Brower and his coaching staff care about results on the field, but at the end of the day, his primary motivation is making sure that his players not only succeed on the field, but in the classroom and as citizens.

“It’s all about getting to college or having a trade when you graduate high school,” Brower said. “We want to create better citizens, be more educated, be a better person. We want to have good people, create good people and build our Central family.”

Brower holds his players accountable and gets on them when they aren’t putting in maximum effort. It can be demanding for some, but his players know that it comes from a good place.

“Coach Brower is for the kids,” Central defensive back and Columbia University commit Mahari Miller said. “He asks us a lot what we think about certain things and how we feel about what we’re doing. ... It’s about getting better as a person a lot of the time. He will ask you how you are feeling on a regular basis. He is always looking out for us.”

Brower has learned from many coaches throughout his career, but he points to one as having a big impact on his current coaching style — his dad.

Valdamar’s father, Vincent, coached Brower’s first grade basketball team and used to play football with him around the neighborhood.

Vincent was hard on him, but he also instilled in him one of the things that keeps him motivated to coach.

“He showed me that it’s all about the kids,” Brower said.




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