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Garris Named
Softball Coach

John Garris, who has compiled a record of 156 victories, 92 losses and one tie in five seasons at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, has been named as softball head coach at Sam Houston State University.

His 156 victories represent the most career wins by a Delta State softball coach. His 1998 squad won Delta State's third consecutive Gulf South Conference West Division championship.

"John Garris is a talented young coach who came in here for his interview and knocked everyone's socks off," said SHSU Director of Athletics Bobby Williams. "Our softball search committee, chaired by Vicki Markowsky, did an exceptional job. We're excited to hire a coach and person of John's caliber. He is a proven winner who comes to Sam Houston State with a desire to make the program succeed. We are pleased to welcome him to the community."

Garris averaged 31 victories per season at Delta State. His 1996 squad was the first team in school history to win 40 games in one season. Garris coached 16 all-conference players, one Gulf South Conference "Most Valuable Player", two GSC all-tournament honorees and six all-region players. He has produced three Academic All-Americans and five Academic All-Region honorees.

Originally from Leroy, Alabama, Garris is a 1984 graduate of the University of Alabama and also received his Master of Science degree in 1986 and Master of Arts degree in 1993 from Alabama.

Prior to becoming softball head coach at Delta State, he served as an assistant coach at Shelton State College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, working with both the men's basketball and women's softball programs.

"Sam Houston State University is a program with a tradition of excellence in softball. To have the opportunity to be the head coach here is truly exciting," said Garris. "When I visited for my interview, there was a sense of enthusiasm and renewal through out the entire athletic department due to the leadership of SHSU's new Director of Athletics Bobby Williams. I'm looking forward to becoming part of that excitement as head softball coach and pledge to do everything I can to return the Bearkat softball program to the level of success the Huntsville community expects."

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Media Contact: Paul Ridings
Aug. 4, 1998
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