Clarisse Garcia Hired as Head Coach of the PBA Women's Basketball Team
May 5, 2010
Written By: Michael Brown, PBA Sports Information Director
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Palm Beach Atlantic University President Lu Hardin along with Director of Athletics Bob White announced on Wednesday the hiring of Clarisse Garcia to the position of head coach of the Sailfish women’s basketball team. A former team captain as a player at Villanova University and most recently the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at NCAA Division I Stetson University, Garcia will begin her new coaching duties next week.
A graduate of Villanova University where she played for the Lady Wildcats basketball team and head coach Harry Perretta from 2003-2007, Garcia was a Dean’s List recipient before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. Garcia would go on to earn her Master’s in Business Administration from Seton Hill University in 2009.
In seeking out a new coach, Athletic Director Bob White knew he needed to find a person who would teach the X’s and O’s of the game, but also be a person of character who could help lead the women’s basketball team into the future.
“Clarisse brings experience as a former Division I player, and assisting at the Division I and II levels. She matches that experience with contagious enthusiasm and a commitment to her faith in Christ. She is a great fit and brings much optimism to our women’s basketball program,” said White.
An accomplished and dedicated recruiter, Garcia was honored as the 2009 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Graduate Assistant of the Year for her work with the Seton Hill women’s basketball program.
Garcia takes on a Sailfish women’s basketball program that finished 6-18 in 2009-2010 after a 13-win campaign the previous season. Although PBA will be Garcia’s first head-coaching appointment, that hasn’t stopped her from being prepared to help take the Sailfish program to unseen heights.
"I am extremely honored and humbled to accept a position into the Sailfish family,” said Garcia.
“I consider myself blessed to have this opportunity and thank President Hardin and Director of Athletics, Bob White, for their confidence and passionate support. My excitement and optimism about the future are matched by my unrivaled desire to bring success and prominence to this prestigious institution,” continued Garcia.
A native of Hopewell, Pennsylvania, Garcia spent the 2009-2010 season as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Lynn Bria and the Stetson women’s hoops program. Prior to her work in Deland with the Lady Hatters, Garcia earned valuable experience at the Division II level working under head coach Ferne Labati as the graduate assistant for two seasons at Seton Hill University in her home state of Pennsylvania.
During her time with SHU, Garcia helped mentor and develop student-athletes both on and off the court as evidenced by SHU ranking third in the nation for team grade-point average during her time with the program.
Academic success should come as no surprise from a team that Garcia has been involved with as she herself was an academic standout student-athlete. While at Villanova, Garcia was a three-time Big East All-Academic team selection while being named to the Villanova and National Dean’s List three times as well. A former walk-on to the NCAA Division I women’s basketball team, Garcia was honored with the Villanova Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Award after her senior season in 2007.
Moving forward with her new program, Garcia has a Christ-centered plan to help develop her players in all phases of their collegiate experience at Palm Beach Atlantic.
“My vision for the program is that it not only serves as a launch pad for these young ladies to succeed in their chosen career paths upon graduating, but that the community will be involved and touched through our endeavors. Pairing this vision with the goal of winning championships, it is my genuine desire to challenge them to grow spiritually, academically, and athletic ally while grounding them with morals and values so they can be active participants in a society that desperately needs leaders of high character,” concluded Garcia.
With a solid core group of players returning for her first season on the bench in 2010-2011, Garcia will begin work right away on shaping the rest of the PBA roster for the present and into what Sailfish fans hope to be a bright and promising future.
Coach Garcia at Stetson University