Charleston Southern’s new women’s basketball coach has spent the last 10 seasons as an assistant coach at three Power 5 schools and takes over the Lowcountry program after five seasons in the Southeastern Conference.
Clarisse Garcia, the 16th women’s basketball coach in CSU history, comes to the Buccaneers after five seasons as an assistant coach at Auburn where she was the recruiting coordinator. The Tigers posted two Top-25 recruiting classes according to espnW HoopGurlz (No. 13 in 2018, No. 25 in 2019) while 11 players received conference postseason accolades.
She takes the reins from former coach Fred Applin, whose contract was not renewed after last season. In Applin’s nine campaigns, the Bucs compiled a 67-178 record and 39-123 mark in Big South play with one postseason bid (2017 WBI).
In Garcia’s time with the Tigers, Auburn advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice.
“Her head coaching experience (Palm Beach Atlantic) along with her experience as a player at Villanova and coaching at three Power 5 schools are important ingredients in building our program to the championship level,” CSU athletics director Jeff Barber said. “Coach Garcia embraces the mission of our university and understands the importance of relational coaching. This is a big day for Charleston Southern University and the young women that participate in our basketball program now as well as those who will in the future.”
Garcia is optimistic about CSU’s future.
"I do believe the best is on the horizon for this program with the way we will recruit to compete for championships on the court, as well as care deeply off the court about our academic success, personal faith growth and community involvement,” she said in an athletic department press release.
Garcia was an accomplished player at Villanova from 2003-07. She was a three-time Big East All-Academic team member and served as team captain her senior season and helped the Wildcats advance to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and National Invitation Tournament in 2005 and 2006.