The Judi Garman Classic kicks off today in Fullerton, California. One of the premier annual early-season tournaments, and drawing some of the nation's top teams to southern California, matchups like Missouri vs. Michigan; Baylor vs. Fresno State; and Michigan vs. Oregon State are set to take place this weekend. In the four-day tournament ending Sunday, twelve teams will compete in a grand total of thirty-three matchups on dueling fields in the Titan Softball Complex.
Have you ever wondered where the tournament's moniker came from and who exactly it's namesake is?
Judi Garman coached the Fullerton Titans from 1980-1999, compiling 913 wins and leading her squad to the National Championship title in 1986. Upon her retirement in 1999, Garman held the record for the highest win total in the sport's history. Since that time, however, she has been surpassed numerous times and now sits at #45 on the all-time list. Garman was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 1993.
It is worthy of note that her career win total does not include 211 wins at Golden West College, a community college, where she coached for seven seasons prior to joining the Titan program. Garman's tenure at Golden West brought four National Junior College Softball Championships to Huntington Beach, as her squad brought home the title every season from 1976-1979.
A former member of the Canadian women's national team, following her retirement as coach at CSF, Garman served as head coach of the Italian women's national softball team. Her tenure included a fifth-place finish at the 2002 ISF Women's World Championship.
The tournament, previously operating under a trio of sponsor-themed monikers, officially adopted Garman's name in 2006.