Jenny Garrison is making history with her new gig – again.
The newest head coach at TCU is not only a champion at one event, but three – and all in the same competition. Garrison is, in fact, the first head coach of the Horned Frogs women’s triathlon program.
The NCAA women’s triathlon consists of a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bicycle ride and a 5K run. TCU’s inaugural season for women’s triathlon is Fall 2023 with triathletes arriving on campus in 2022.
This is the second consecutive career stop in which Garrison has started a women’s triathlon program. She also created the program at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. She led that team to three NCAA Division III national championships from 2017-19 and five overall appearances at the USA Triathlon National Collegiate Championships.
The Cardinals are coming off a third-place finish in 2021, a team that included individual national champion Hailey Poe. She is the fourth consecutive athlete from North Central coached by Garrison to win a national title.
In addition, as swimming is part of a triathlon, she also coached the school’s swimming and diving ladies’ team.
“I am so excited to join the TCU family,” Garrison said. “As the first head coach of the women’s triathlon program, my goal is to bring an amazing team culture that cultivates success.”
Garrison said that, along with finding success in their sport, she focuses on developing skills to help her athletes become leaders in life.
Garrison added that TCU’s tradition of success in college athletics attracted her to the job – a tradition she plans to expand with her own program.
“Triathlon in Fort Worth will make history,” she exclaimed.
Garrison was the 2019 USAT Division III Coach of the Year. She has coached eight Collegiate Triathlon Coaches Association All-Americans and 11 All-Region honorees, including 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year finalist and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient Naomi Hill.
As an athlete herself, Garrison is a 2001 graduate of Benedictine University, which followed with more than 15 years of competitive experience. She was a part of Team USA in World Championship competition in Australia, France, Switzerland and Canada. She won overall amateur female honors at the 2006 USAT National Championships and placed third at the 2014 USAT Championships.
She is also a two-time finisher at the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. The legendary competition features a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a marathon (26.2 miles) run for participants.
“We are proud to welcome Jenny to TCU and in an exciting leadership role of helping us start a women’s triathlon program,” TCU Athletic Director Jeremiah Donati said. “When we added women’s triathlon, we believed we could quickly be competitive on the national level.
“Having already built a program and with immediate results, Jenny is the right person and fit to help us achieve our goal. She is a national championship coach and is well known through USA Triathlon. Her enthusiasm and passion for the sport will make an impact in recruiting.”
The addition of women’s triathlon gives TCU 22 sports, the most in the Big 12 Conference.