Oct. 18, 2012
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech head coach Mark Montgomery completed his coaching staff as the newly-named Lady Techster field boss announced the hiring of Jeannie Douglas and John Garris on Thursday.
Douglas comes to Ruston after spending the past three seasons as Montgomery's assistant coach at the University of Northern Colorado where she assisted with all facets of the program, including recruiting, administration, on-the-field coaching, fundraising and community service.
She will work primarily with the LA Tech outfielders and all of the Lady Techster hitters.
"Jeannie and I worked together at Northern Colorado, and no coach is more diligent or conscientious than Jeannie," Montgomery said. "Her passion is obvious and her motives pure. She wants to see every player develop into both the best athlete and the best person they can be, and she will work tirelessly to make that happen."
The former University of Oklahoma standout helped mold the Northern Colorado offense as the 2012 team set 18 program records, including batting average (.291), slugging percentage (.436) and on-base percentage (.388).
"Jeannie is a tremendous young hitting coach," Montgomery said. "As a player for Oklahoma, she has seen the top level and will work hard to help us get there."
Before coming to Northern Colorado, Douglas won a Big 12 championship as a player on the Oklahoma softball team in 2007, and she was part of another Big 12 title in 2009 as a Sooners graduate assistant. Douglas was a four-year letter-winner for legendary coach Patty Gasso at Oklahoma seeing action in 87 games and earning Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2009 in her final playing season in Norman.
She earned her bachelor's degree in multidisciplinary studies from OU in 2009 and is currently working on her master's degree.
"I am thrilled for this opportunity that Louisiana Tech has given me, and I have never been more excited to work with a group of outstanding student-athletes," Douglas said. "We are setting our goals high this year and want to finish on top of our conference and leave our legacy with the WAC before we enter into Conference USA next year."
"John and I have been friends for over 10 years now," Montgomery said. "He has been involved with many great softball programs as both a head coach and an assistant. He has also coached at many levels ranging from high school to Division I. His vast knowledge and experience will allow him to help this program in so many different arenas.
"John's greatest asset is his ability to inspire. He will make players and recruits passionate about Louisiana Tech softball."
Garris served as the head coach at Delta State (1993-98), Sam Houston State (1998-2001), Henderson State (2001-03) and Shelton State Community College (2005-07) while serving as an assistant coach at Rutgers (2003-05) and Samford (2007-10).
"It is an incredible opportunity to be joining a great coaching staff at such an outstanding institution," said Garris. "When Coach Montgomery was named the new head coach at Louisiana Tech, it was apparent that a school with an excellent athletic history had landed a great leader. Having known him for years, I have always respected his knowledge of the game and his commitment to his teams. He's a great coach and even better man. I'm just honored to be on his staff.
"The opportunity to be a part of LA Tech's great tradition is both humbling and very exciting. Hopefully, I can bring a passion for the game and work ethic second to none. I'm excited to be here for our last season in the WAC transition to C~USA and the Montgomery era."
The Mobile, Alabama native has coached numerous all-conference and all-region players during his career and has been successful at every stop. During his time at Delta State, he became the program's second all-time winningest coach while leading the team to three straight Gulf South Conference West Division titles.
He also has four years of international coaching experience as he was selected to lead the United States during the Athletes International Friendship Tour in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Garris earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama in 1984. He also earned two master's degrees from Alabama in 1986 and 1993.