ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Head coach Yvonne Sanchez and the University of New Mexico women’s basketball program have announced the hiring of Carla Garrett as the team’s strength and conditioning coach. Garrett, a Santa Fe native, brings over 20 years of experience in designing and implementing resistance training, conditioning and speed development programs for high school, collegiate and professional teams.
“It’s great to have someone with her experience,” said Sanchez. “We definitely hit a home run when it comes to Carla being hired here at New Mexico. It is going to be a lot of fun having her work with our players as she is a pioneer in strength and conditioning. It is exciting to have her come back home to New Mexico and work with our program and be a Lobo.”
Garrett comes back to New Mexico with a very experienced background. Recently, she was a strength and conditioning coach for Pima Community College and Salpointe Catholic High School. She worked specifically with PCC’s nationally ranked women’s basketball and specifically with football, baseball, men’s basketball and softball at SCHS.
“I am super excited to come home,” said Garrett. “But I am even more excited for the opportunity to take the teams that I will train to new places that they haven’t been before. Thank you to the University of New Mexico for getting me back into the college setting. It is going to be a fun time for my teams.”
From 2003-08, Garrett was the USA National Paralympic Team throwers coach where she led her athletes to gold, silver and bronze medals.
In addition, Garrett spent over 12 years as a personal trainer working with many professional athletes and Olympic athletes including: Lisa Fernandez (USA Softball Olympic Gold Medalist), Frank Middleton (Oakland Raiders), Loren Woods (Toronto Raptors), Jennie Finch (USA Softball Olympic Gold Medalist) and Joseph Blair (Italian League Professional Basketball Player). She also was the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the U.S. National Softball Team the year it won the World Championship Gold Medal.
In 1989, Garrett graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in sociology and minor degree in nutrition and food sciences. For the Wildcats, she was a 10-time NCAA All-American in the shot put and discus. She also was a three-time NCAA National Champion in both events, respectively. Garrett is the former Pac-10 record holder in the discus at 198 feet 5 inches. Also in her collegiate career, she was a member of the track and field team at the World University Games in 1989.
Following her collegiate career, Garrett went on to compete for the United States Olympic Track and Field team, as well as, competing in national and world weight lifting competitions. In 1991 and 1993, Garrett was a silver medalist at the World Weightlifting Championships. From 1991-94, she was the National Weightlifting Champions in the 83+K class. From 1992-93 she was a member of the World Championships Track and Field team and in 1992, she won a silver medal in the discus for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team.
From 1994-02, Garrett returned to her alma mater as the assistant strength and conditioning coach, helping her teams (women’s basketball, softball, volleyball and men’s basketball) to three NCAA Division I Championships, sweet sixteen appearances, Pac-10 Championships and Final Four appearances.
The Santa Fe native has been inducted into three Hall of Fames since her athletic career ended. Her first induction came in 1996, when she was inducted into the University of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. In 2010, she was inducted into the New Mexico Track and Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was inducted into the United States Weightlifting Hall of Fame.
Other than working with women’s hoops, Garrett will also be handling the softball and women’s tennis programs.