Jimmy GarrityHead Coach
Office Phone: (864) 231-2011
Jimmy Garrity enters his second season at the helm of the Anderson University women’s basketball team, being hired on August 1, 2013.
“I am thrilled that Jimmy Garrity will be joining our staff to lead the women’s basketball program,” athletic director Nancy Simpson said. “He brings to us a wealth of experience and is a great mission fit for Anderson University. I look forward to the continued success of the team under his leadership.”
Garrity led the Trojans to a 16-14 overall record an 11-11 mark in South Atlantic Conference play in his first year with the Trojans. After earning the No. 6 seed in the SAC Tournament, the Trojans shocked the league with a 71-64 overtime win over third-seeded Lincoln Memorial, earning a spot in the conference semifinals where they fell to eventual tournament champion, Wingate. Under Garrity, AU placed three on all-conference teams, including Sierra Simpson's All-SAC second team honor and Alexis Dillard's all-freshman team spot.
Garrity spent the 2012-13 season at Clemson University as the women’s basketball assistant coach. With the Lady Tigers, Garrity was in charge of scouting, practice planning, game scheduling, coordinating of the guards, community service and alumni relations. Garrity also maintained the Lady Tiger website and monitored the academic success of the student-athletes.
Before spending a season at CU, Garrity spent 10 seasons within many facets of the UNC Wilmington basketball program. The Clemson resident was hired as the Director of Basketball Operations in 2002 for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Once the position spilt into two different roles, Garrity took over just the women’s side while also becoming an assistant coach in 2007. Continuing his tenure with UNCW, Garrity was promoted to the associate head coach role in 2011 and coached his team to the second round of the WNIT.
Being involved with sports throughout his life, ranging from the NBA to youth basketball, Garrity brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Anderson. Before getting into coaching, Garrity worked as a Golf Course Superintendent in Lawrence, Kan. and a Field Representative and Director of Ticket Sales and Services at NC State.
In his time working with college basketball, Garrity has spent time with a CAA Player of the Year, two CAA Rookie of the Year recipients, two CAA Tournament MVPs, a CAA Defensive Player of the Year, nine all-CAA players, two Dean Ehiers Leadership Award winners, six CAA all-academic honor roll members, one ACC all-academic honor roll member, and 13 professional basketball players.
Garrity graduated from Elon in 1989 with a degree in business administration and marketing and later earned a Master’s in sports administration from St. Thomas University in Miami, Fla. in 1990.
Garrity is married to Jenny Garrity, who served as UNCW’s women’s tennis coach for 13 seasons. The couple have two daughters Kacey and Carly, and a son Corey.
Mike MerrillAssistant Coach
Office Phone: (864) 231-2011
Mike Merrill will be entering his second season with the Trojans after coming to AU with head coach Jimmy Garrity in 2013-14. Merrill has been an understudy of Garrity since his time as a UNC Wilmington student assistant in 2005. In 2007, Merrill was hired as the Director of Basketball Operations for the Seahawks, as Garrity was an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team. Merrill ended up spending five seasons with UNCW and contributed to the program’s success on and off the court.
“I am extremely excited to have Coach Merrill join our basketball family. He brings a great deal of experience and basketball knowledge to Anderson,” Garrity said. “His personality, work ethic and character are a great fit for AU and our program and I look forward to the positive impact he will have on our student-athletes, not only as basketball players but as young adults.”
Away from the court, Merrill founded UNCW’s mentoring program at Holly Tree Elementary in Wilmington, N.C. and was a counselor at Ann Hancock’s women’s basketball camp and camp supervisor for Cynthia Cooper Basketball camps, both held on the campus of UNCW.
Merrill was also a main contributor to the “Seahawks Tomorrow” program where he worked with the school’s athletic marketing department to reach out to elementary school students and provide tours of UNCW’s campus to inspire them to attend college in the future.
“I am honored to join the AU family as the assistant women’s basketball coach and I would like to thank Coach Garrity and Athletic Director Nancy Simpson for the opportunity to join the Trojan Athletic Department,” Merrill said. “Coach Garrity’s program is based on integrity and hard work while focusing on the development of student-athletes on and off the court and I share those same values. Coach Garrity’s leadership, in addition to the vision Nancy Simpson has for AU, made this an excellent opportunity and I am extremely excited to contribute to the success of Anderson Women’s Basketball.”
Merrill received his Bachelor of Arts in physical education from UNC Wilmington in 2007 and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in sports mangement from North Carolina State University. Merrill married to the former Molly Pyles who played volleyball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2001-05. Both are natives of Hendersonville, N.C.Tweets by @MikeMerrill25
Amanda ParrisVolunteer Assistant Coach
Office Phone: (864) 231-2011
Parris joined the coaching staff in 2013-14 after being a standout guard at Anderson. During her time as a student-athlete, Parris saw action in 111 games and scored 721 points in her four-year career.
“Being a part of the women’s basketball staff is something I had never envisioned as a player. Getting this opportunity is exciting and I am beyond thrilled that Coach Garrity and Coach Merrill allowed me to help lead this program,” Parris said. “This will be a great experience for what I want to do in my future, and I know working with these coaches will help me to learn the ropes of being a college coach. I am finally getting a chance to do what I want to do as a career, all I can say is, this is just another gift from God, and I am blessed.”
The Rome, Ga. native began her playing career on a high note by being named to the Conference Carolinas All-Tournament Team after her freshman season by averaging 12 points over the three games. Parris headlined her senior season by averaging 7.7 points per game, including totaling 55 three pointers, the second-most on the team. For her prep career, Parris holds Armuchee High School’s career free-throw accuracy record, totaling a mark of 87-percent. Parris is currently pursuing her degree in physical education at Anderson.
“I am thrilled that Amanda was interested in coming on staff,” Garrity said. “She has given Anderson University her all over the past 4 years and helped get this program to where it is today. She will have such a positive impact on the younger players and has an extremely bright future in coaching basketball.”