May 7, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Clarisse Garcia has been named Assistant Women's Basketball Coach at the University of Alabama, which was announced by head coach Wendell Hudson on Monday. Garcia replaces Leah Drury, who accepted the head coaching position at Pensacola State College last month.
"I am real excited about Clarisse joining our staff," said Hudson. "She brings a great deal of experience both on and off the court, having been an assistant and head coach. We are looking forward to her getting started."
For the past two seasons, Garcia has served as the head coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University, an NCAA Division II institution in West Palm Beach, Fla. In May of 2010, she took over a team that had six wins the previous year, and increased that total immediately. The Sailfish closed out the 2010-11 campaign on a five-game winning streak en route to capturing the Independent Invitational Classic Tournament Championship in Washington, D.C.
The fall of 2012 saw Palm Beach Atlantic get off to its best start in program history, winning four of its first six contests. Under Garcia's watch, Sailfish student-athletes set several program-bests including the all-time three-point scoring leader and single-season three-point scoring leader, the all-time leading rebounder and the all-time blocking leader. She also had two student-athletes named to the Independent Collegiate Athletic Association (ICAA) Second Team and another two named to the All-ICAA Third Team.
In addition to their success on the court, Garcia's teams excelled in the classroom as she raised the overall GPA from below a 3.0 to 3.2. Throughout her tenure, she had two student-athletes with 4.0 GPAs, attaining President's List status, two making the Provost's List (3.5-3.9 GPA) and six on the Athletics Director List (3.0-3.4 GPA).
"It is an honor and privilege to be asked to coach at a university that is as rich in tradition with an ingrained culture of winning as is the University of Alabama," said Garcia. "I am humbled to accept this position, and I genuinely appreciate Coach Hudson and Coach Moore for believing that I will help spark the resurgence of Alabama women's basketball in the SEC and nationally. The door of opportunity has flung wide open, and I am excited to get to work. The University of Alabama is a great environment, and after meeting the players and coaches, I know that together we can accomplish outstanding feats and make waves in the upcoming seasons."
Prior to Palm Beach Atlantic, Garcia spent one season as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Stetson University. During her time in Deland, Fla., she recruited and signed a nationally-ranked student-athlete and helped the team to an appearance in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.
Garcia began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa. In her two seasons with the Griffins, she assisted in the mentoring and development of student-athletes, which could be seen both on and off the court. In her final season at Seton Hill, she helped the team to a fourth-place finish in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Association (WVIAC) Conference Tournament in addition to helping the Griffins rank third in the nation for team GPA in NCAA Division II. In 2009, Garcia was named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association/Women's Sports Foundation Graduate Assistant of the Year.
Garcia was an accomplished student-athlete herself, graduating from Villanova University in 2007. Throughout her four-year career with the Wildcats women's basketball team, she was a three-time BIG EAST All-Academic Team member as well as a three-time member of the Villanova and National Dean's List. She served as Team Captain her senior season and helped the Wildcats advance to the NCAA Tournament in 2004, as well as the Women's National Invitation Tournament in 2005 and 2006.
Garcia has also been involved in several camps and clinics including the Prohoops Camp at the Final Four, Leadership Through Basketball Camps in Morocco, University of Pittsburgh Summer Camps, Harry Perretta Basketball Clinics, Nike Basketball Camps and the Philadelphia Big 5 Clinics.