ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – University of Alaska Anchorage Associate Athletic Director Michael Friess announced Ray Shadowens has been hired as an assistant coach for cross country and track and field.

Shadowens comes to UAA after serving as the head coach for cross country and track and field at Buffalo State (NY) for the past three seasons. He has served as an assistant coach at Pacific University (Ore.), Bates College (ME) and Roger Williams University (RI).

“I am very excited to add Ray to our coaching staff,” said Friess. “He has a strong knowledge of the sports of cross country and track and field. His has strong leadership skills thanks to his time as a head coach. We look forward to him joining our program.”

During his time at Buffalo State, Shadowens coached two national champions in the triple jump (indoor and outdoor) and the Bengals broke eight school records and earned 14 all-region and 20 All-SUNYAC honors.

“First I would like to thank associate athletic director and head Coach Michael Friess for this amazing opportunity,” said Shadowens. “I know I have some big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I would also like to thank coach Ryan McWilliams, assistant athletic director Ian Marks, and athletic director Greg Myford, as well. Their professionalism and enthusiasm for the program and the department has me excited to be joining the staff. To join a program that has had as much success as UAA is great, however after spending some time with the staff it is evident that no one is satisfied and the goal is to take it to the next level, and as a coach that’s what really excites you. I can’t wait to get my feet on the ground and do everything I can to help the program achieve that vision.”

Shadowens, a native of Arp, Texas earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and business administration from Buffalo State in 2009 and a master’s degree in sports administration from Lasell College in 2014.

Shadowens replaces TJ Garlatz who resigned over the summer to relocate to his native Washington to be closer to family.

During his 11 years at UAA, Garlatz helped the cross country program produce two NCAA champions, 41 All-American performances, 15 individual conference champions and 82 all-conference certificates.

In track & field, Garlatz has helped coach nine NCAA individual champions, 115 All-American finishes and 189 GNAC individual wins. Nationally, Garlatz has sent multiple athletes to the championship meet

Garlatz was also honored in 2010 when he was named the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association West Region Assistant Coach of the Year.

“It is difficult to express how fortunate I've been to have the opportunity to work at UAA for the past 11 years,” said Garlatz. “The level of support provided to me by so many people across the campus has been stunning. I'm very proud of what our coaching staff and student-athletes have accomplished, both on the track and in the classroom. I have no doubt that the group I'm leaving behind will continue to impress and achieve greatness. Coach Friess and coach Ryan are more than just colleagues, they are friends. While I will greatly miss UAA, it was time to move my family closer to the rest of their family in the greater Seattle area. I'm very excited to see how the next chapter of my life unfolds.”

“I would like to thank TJ for his many years of hard work he put into the program here at UAA,” said Friess. “He was instrumental in elevating our program both in the GNAC and as a national contender. I wish both him and his family the best in their future endeavors.”

The UAA cross country team will open the 2018 season at the Skinny Raven Classic on Sept. 8th.