PISCATAWAY, NJ – John Garris has been named as an assistant coach for the Rutgers softball team, head coach Pat Willis has announced.
Garris has coached softball on the collegiate level for the past 14 years, most recently as the head coach at Henderson State University (2001-2003). Garris also served as the head coach at Sam Houston State University (1998-2001) and Delta State University (1993-1998) and was the assistant coach at Centenary College (2003) and Shelton State Community College (1989-1993).
“We’re really excited to have him on board,” Willis said. “He brings a great deal of experience to this program. One of his areas of expertise is hitting, so his knowledge will be a welcome addition to our program.”
While at Delta State, he was named the Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year in 1997 and his team won the West Division championship in 1996, 1997 and 1998. He is the winningest softball coach in the history of the program. In 2001, at Sam Houston State, he coached the team to its first 20-win season in five years.
“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity and I appreciate Coach Willis for presenting me with the chance to join her staff,” Garris said. “She has 600 wins and Rutgers is such a prestigious school, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
An instructor at numerous camps and clinics, including the 2001 USA Softball National Team Elite Camp, he has tutored several regionally and nationally recognized student athletes. In addition to their athletic accomplishments, two of Garris’ former players were academic All-Americans, and his 1997 Delta State team was recognized as a National Fastpitch Coach’s Association (NFCA) Top Ten Academic Team.
In addition to his coaching experience, Garris was a member of the 1998 NCAA Division II Regional Ranking Committee-South Region. He holds master’s of arts, master’s of science and bachelor’s of arts degrees from Alabama, and an educational specialist degree from Delta State.
Rutgers finished the 2003 season 26-23 overall and 8-12 in BIG EAST play.