LaMar Garrett Named Assistant Track & Field Coach
Aug 22, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. – Illinois State director of track & field and cross country Elvis Forde announced the hiring of LaMar Garrett, as an assistant coach Wednesday. Garrett joins the staff, after spending two years as a volunteer coach for Wisconsin. Garrett brings four years of coaching experience into his new position with the Redbirds, following an impressive collegiate career.
“We believe that LaMar really brings the tools that we are looking for to help us in the jumps area,” Forde said. “With his experience coming from Wisconsin, and also being a high jumper himself, I think he has a lot to lend to our student-athletes. The coaches he has been around have had high praise for him, and he has hit the ground running contacting coaches and others who can assist him with recruiting as well as the advancement of our track program. We are looking forward to him giving us that boost in the area that we need in the jumps, which is critical to our success.”
Garrett spent the last two seasons at the Wisconsin-Madison as a volunteer coach. During his two-year campaign, Garrett helped guide the Badgers to two Big Ten conference championships.
With Garrett as the jumps coach, the Wisconsin men captured a third-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Indoor National Championships. Throughout his two-year stint, the Badgers recorded two school top-10 marks in the high jump, a school top-10 mark in the long jump, a Big Ten record 6,165 points in the heptathlon, four NCAA first-round qualifiers in the high jump, one Olympic qualifier in the decathlon and assisted with the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Indoor runner-up Japheth Cato in the heptathlon.
“The search started when I was volunteering at Wisconsin,” Garrett said. “The head coach said he knew everyone on the (Illinois State) staff really well, and I was excited to learn I might be a candidate. It is a big school, the program is fully funded, and we have the opportunity to do some of things that some other schools cannot. They have a good tradition, including the legacy of Tim Glover and Brittany Smith, the distance runners, sprinters, one of whom, Sade Sealy, who just came back from the World Championships. I feel privileged to come in and try and help with all of that and bring the jumps program up to their level. It is something that I am very excited about.”
Before joining the Wisconsin staff, Garrett was a volunteer coach at his former high school Edmond Santa Fe in Edmond, Okla., where he worked with Gunnar Nixon, who set the junior class record in the decathlon. Garrett departed the following year to work with the Kansas State track and field team, but under his guidance, Nixon went on to set every multi record a high school student can set and is the only high school athlete to score over 8,000 points. This year Nixon competed in the 2013 World Championships and set the record for earning the most points scored in the decathlon for his age group.
Prior to that, Garrett spent three years as a student-athlete at Kansas State, where he received a bachelor’s degree in social science and a master’s degree in counseling, student development and athletic administration. He was a three-time All-Big 12 selection and was a part of the Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2007 and 2008. Garrett spent one season at Independence Community College, and within that year was named to the ICC Hall of Fame, claimed the 2004 indoor and outdoor high jump National Junior College Champion title, along with All-American accolades in the high jump.
Garrett replaces Tim Thompson, who left in the spring.
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