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."
- END -
Media Contact: Paul Ridings
Aug. 4, 1998
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