SMU community loses one of its own

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Section Editor, Brittany Orlosky


Beloved Saint Martin’s University baseball coach, Ken Garland passed away, the evening of Friday March 16, at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, after being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit earlier that week. Coach Garland is survived by his wife, Cathy, their sons, Chris and Matthew, and their three grandchildren, Chase, Justin, and Adelei.


Garland had been the men’s baseball coach for nearly 10 years, starting his coaching career at SMU in 2008. Prior to SMU Garland were the head baseball coach and defensive coordinator for the football team at the University of Puget Sound. He also coached both baseball and football at Willamette University and Linfield College, according to his bio on


In his first three seasons (2009, 2010, 2011), the Saints baseball team was named GNAC Academic Team Champions. Garland coached the Saints to multiple individual and team successes. The Saints earned three Freshman of the Year awards, Chandler Tracy (2013), Zack Larsen (2014) and Mickey Walker (2016), and have had over 30 players named to the All-GNAC team. In 2011, Garland led the Saints to a second-place finish in the GNAC, with a conference record of 21-11. During the 2014 season, the Saints qualified for the GNAC Championships and Garland was named Coach of the Year, according to a news release published by the SMU Office of Marketing and Communications.


“As the grounds supervisor, Ken oversaw Saint Martin’s extensive campus grounds. He and his crew not only took care of all the athletic fields – the baseball and softball fields, the track and soccer fields – but also the landscaping around the academic buildings, the recreation facilities and tennis courts, the residence halls and all the entrances to Saint Martin’s. He was involved in many campus beautification projects, including the Jan Halliday Memorial Plaza and Flag Pavilion.” Stated in the news release published by the SMU Office of Marketing and Communications.


Garland went above and beyond, in the most humble way for our school and athletes. There was an unspoken word between the athletes that the reason our grounds were kept so well had all to do with Coach Garland. During the summer and during our fall season for soccer, our field was always perfectly lined and trimmed. We all knew this was because of Coach Garland and his staff. Many early mornings, the day before games, Garland would always be out and about finishing the field to upkeep the appearance of our school. It was known to both the men’s and women’s soccer teams that we had one of the best grass fields in the conference, and this was all due to the hard work of Garland and his crew.


“Garland cared about more than the game, he cared about us as students, as people, and as a family” said senior baseball player Luke Hare.


A small memorial service for the Saint Martin’s family and community was held on Thursday, March 22nd in the Abbey Church, a reception immediately followed the prayer service in the Norman Worthington Conference Center.  The Garland family will be hosting a separate memorial service in the next few weeks in the Marcus Pavilion, where the greater community will be able to gather to honor Coach Garland’s memory and to be together in prayer, the date to be determined.


The email sent out to the SMU Community stated, “A reminder, that for those of you who continue to experience grief and who may welcome support as you grapple with this loss, please know that the Counseling and Wellness Center is available by calling 360-412-6123 or emailing


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