Linda Garza hired as FCC's new head softball coach
Fresno City College President Dr. Robert Pimentel and Associate Dean of Athletics Dr. Derrick Johnson today announced the hiring of Linda Garza as the new head coach of the softball program. Garza’s hiring was approved by the State Center Community College Board of Trustees at its regular meeting on September 5, 2023. Garza will begin her official position as Head Softball Coach/Physical Education/Health Instructor on October 9, 2023. She becomes the fourth head softball coach in the history of the program which began in 1983,
The Fresno native and Hoover High graduate comes with 21 years of Division I experience, over 350 wins as a head coach, and led four different programs to 30-plus win seasons. In her 12 years of head coaching, her teams have earned nine 30 + win seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament three times.
“I am excited to be part of the Ram family, lead this program and positively influence young lives. I’d like to thank President Pimentel and Dr. Johnson for listening and believing in me as a person and educator. I am fully invested in the Fresno City mission using my position of influence, power, and privilege to cultivate an environment of belonging, growth, validation, and success. I am eager to get started, recruit, work with, and give back to this wonderful community I call home,” said Garza.
Garza comes to FCC from the University of Nevada in Reno. At Nevada, Garza finished the 2023 season with an impressive 31-19 record after a 17-35 season in 2022. Those 31 wins almost doubled her win total in a single season from 2022. While at Nevada Garza coached one of the fastest teams in the country with 155 stolen bases, led by the NCAA Division I stolen bases per game leader who earned 50 stolen bases in 50 games.
“We're excited to welcome Coach Garza as the new leader of Fresno City College (FCC) Softball. The vision that she shared regarding leadership, empowering student-athletes to be active agents, and fostering a memorable student experience with respect stood out to everyone on the search committee,” said Dr. Johnson.
“Additionally, Linda’s softball IQ, experience and passion for the game was well received by everyone on the committee, and we're excited to see her continue to build on the success of the FCC softball program," he added.
Garza spent five seasons as head coach at Fresno State. At Fresno State, Garza compiled a 161-82 record with 21 Mountain West all-conference selections, 12 NFCA All-Region honorees, three postseason appearances, including two NCAA Tournaments, two Mountain West Pitcher of the Year recipients, two Mountain West Freshman of the Year awardees, one Mountain West Player of the Year recipient, one 2021 USA Top 25 Player of the Year watch list selection, one 2019 Shutt Sports NFCA Freshman of the Year Top 25 honoree, and one Mountain West title.
Prior to Fresno State, she spent four seasons as head coach at UC Riverside, winning 39 and 32 games in 2015 and 2016, respectively. After taking over at UC Riverside in 2012, Garza took a program that went 13-33 in 2011 to a 39-17 record, a 14th-best ERA (2.13) in the country and a program-best RPI ranking of 70 in 2015. She registered the program’s first back-to-back 30-win seasons since the Highlanders joined the Big West in 2002. She coached over 10 All-Big West student-athletes, three NFCA all-region performers, and back-to-back 20-game winning pitchers in 2015-16.
Before taking over at UC Riverside, Garza served as associate head coach at Cal Poly from 2010-12, head coach at Wright State from 2009-10, and an assistant coach at Purdue (2005-09), Tulsa (2004-05) and Arkansas (2002-04).
As head coach at Wright State in 2010, she guided the Raiders to the Horizon League Tournament title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament. Wright State also set single-season program records in hits (538), walks (148), and stolen bases (150).
During her tenure as assistant coach at Purdue, she helped the Boilermakers reach 30-plus wins in each of her four seasons and the NCAA Tournament two times.
Garza began her coaching career as a student assistant at UNLV following a standout playing career for the Rebels from 1998-2001. She received four All-MW academic honors.
Garza earned her bachelor’s degree in School Health Education with a minor in Athletic Coaching and Physical Education in 2002. Garza graduated with her master’s degree in Kinesiology in 2009 from Texas Woman’s University.