University of Puget Sound

Ken Garland, who coached Saint Martin’s baseball for 10 seasons, has died

Saint Martin’s University baseball coach Ken Garland (left), who coached the Saints for 10 seasons, died Friday.
Saint Martin’s University baseball coach Ken Garland (left), who coached the Saints for 10 seasons, died Friday. Courtesy

Saint Martin’s University baseball coach Ken Garland, who coached the Saints for 10 seasons and supervised the grounds crew, has died, the school wrote in a news release.

Garland, 60, who had been diagnosed with cancer, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Swedish Hospital in Seattle early last week. He died Friday evening.

“Ken will be remembered for his dedication to his students and his big heart,” the news release says. “He took great pride in being a member of the Saint Martin’s community — as a coach, as a staff member and as a caring colleague to all.

“Every December, Ken made a tradition of driving out to Rochester with a small group of staff to select a Christmas tree for Saint Martin’s annual staff and faculty Christmas party. He was a true Saint on and off the field.”

Garland is survived by his wife, Cathy, sons Chris and Matthew, and grandchildren Chase, Justin and Adelei.

SMU will hold a memorial service for Garland on campus, but details will be released at a later date.

Garland was hired at SMU in 2008, and was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference coach of the year after leading the Saints to a conference tournament appearance in 2014.

He coached more than 30 players who were eventually named to the all-GNAC team, the release says, including three freshman of the year: Mickey Walker (2016), Zack Larsen (2014) and Chandler Tracy (2013). Several of his players also earned all-region honors.

For three consecutive seasons under Garland between 2009-11, the Saints were named the GNAC academic team champions.

“From the beginning (Garland) was a passionate believer of hard work both in the classroom and on the field,” the release says.

As the grounds supervisor, Garland and his crew tended to the athletic fields, recreation facilities and tennis courts, landscaping around academic buildings, residence halls and all entrances to the college.

Before arriving at SMU, Garland was the baseball coach at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma from 1996-2001, and also served as the football team’s defensive coordinator there. He also previously coached baseball and football at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.

He was a two-sport athlete at Willamette during college, playing football — in which he was a captain and three-time all-conference selection — and baseball.

Garland graduated from Willamette with a bachelor’s degree in economics and physical education before earning a master’s degree in athletic administration at Idaho State University in Pocatello. He also served as a graduate assistant for the Idaho State Bengals’ football program.

Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473, @smithlm12