Nathan Garcia is in his 12th season as head coach of the University of California San Diego men's and women's cross country programs in 2018. In 11 years at the helm, Garcia has guided his alma mater to four NCAA Championship appearances, while also coaching many All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and All-West Region honorees. Under his tutelage, Ella Verhees and Aren Johnson each earned All-West Region accolades in 2017, with Verhees becoming the first Triton female to qualify for the NCAA Championships since 2008.
In 2016, Garcia led the men's team to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA West Regionals, with Tareq Alwafai and Brendan Gee receiving All-West Region honors after finishing in seventh and 10th, respectively. Gee and Alwafai qualified for the NCAA Championships where they finished 59th and 101st, respectively. The women's team placed ninth at the NCAA West Regionals. At the CCAA Championships, the men took third while the women took fourth. Alwafai placed third at the meet, the highest finish for a UC San Diego male since 1999. Gee earned All-CCAA honors along with Karina Carstens, Kristin Semancsin, Ella Verhees and Skylar Thiel.
Garcia took over head coaching duties for both programs in 2007 after the resignation of longtime coach and mentor Ted Van Arsdale. He served as an assistant under Van Arsdale for five seasons prior to his appointment to the top spot. In addition to leading the cross country teams, Garcia also coaches distance events for the UC San Diego track and field teams.
In his first season as head coach, Garcia guided both the men and women's teams to the 2007 NCAA Division II National Championships, marking just the second time the Tritons have accomplished that feat at the D-II level. The women's team finished 11th at the championships, moving up five places from their 16th place finish in 2006, while the men finished in the 20th spot, which was their highest finish since 2003.
Garcia led the women's team to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA West Regionals, while the men came in seventh in 2008. Redshirt freshman Bre Schofield advanced to the D-II National Championships in Slippery Rock, Pa., finishing 22nd overall, which was UC San Diego's best individual finish since 2002. Schofield took home USTFCCCA All-American honors for her performance.
Following another strong campaign in 2009, the Tritons posted a combined 11 top-five team finishes in 2010, highlighted by the men's victory at the Bronco Preview Meet in Whittier in October. The Triton men went on to finish third at the CCAA Championships on the same course two weeks later, while the women recorded a fifth-place showing at the conference meet. UC San Diego's men would then finish eighth at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Bellingham, Wash., with the women claiming 14th place.
In 2012, Garcia guided both the men and women to national rankings, peaking at No. 28 and No. 30, respectively. At the NCAA Division II West Regionals in Kahuku, Hawaii, the Triton men took 10th while the women finished 12th overall. After the season concluded, both squads were named to the 2012 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II All-Academic Teams, and juniors Kellen Levy and Chia Chang each earned individual USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors for the second year in a row. Levy additionally was selected to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District® Men's Track/Cross Country First Team for the NCAA Division II District 8, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
In 2013, Garcia coached the men's team to a sixth-place finish, while the women were 11th, at the NCAA West Regionals. Alwafai and Tanner Collins on the men's side and Marie Diaz and Paige Hughes from the women were named All-West Region. Alwafai went on to race at the NCAA Championships and finished in 100th place. Kellen Levy and Matt Lenehan also were all-conference.
In 2014, Garcia guided the women's team to a 21st-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The Triton women qualified for the national meet with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA West Regionals, finishing ahead of three-ranked teams in No. 18 Western Washington, No. 23 Cal Poly Pomona and No. 25 California Baptist. The men's squad finished seventh in the West. Collins and Hughes earned All-West Region after they finished 14th and 16th, respectively, in the region. Both UCSD men and women finished fourth at the CCAA meet, with Hughes and Corinne Hinkle earning all-conference honors.
Garcia directed the 2015 women to a seventh-place finish at the NCAA West Regionals, with Hughes receiving All-Region distinction in 21st. The Triton men took 13th at the meet. The women were second and the men took fifth at the CCAA Championships. Hughes, Hinkle and Carstens took home All-CCAA honors after finishing in the top 15. Carstens was tabbed as the conference's Freshman of the Year after being the first freshman to complete the race.
Garcia was a four-year letterwinner in both cross country and track at UCSD from 1996 to 2000. During his time as a Triton, he earned numerous athletic and academic awards, including Academic All-District and CCAA Scholar-Athlete honors in 2000-01. He was also recognized by UCSD on National Student-Athlete Day that same year.
Garcia earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from UC San Diego in 2000, graduating cum laude. He then completed a multi-subject professional clear CLAD credential at UC San Diego in 2001.
|Alma Mater:||UC San Diego|