HUNTSVILLE – Director of Athletics Bobby Williams announced on Friday that Garrett Valis has been promoted to head coach of the Sam Houston State softball program, replacing Bob Brock who retired at the conclusion of the 2018 season.Valis becomes the ninth head coach in program history and the first since Brock took over prior to the 2002 season. He has spent the last four years as the Bearkats’ top assistant and has helped guide Sam Houston to the Southland Conference Tournament each of the past three seasons.“I have had the opportunity to watch and get to know Coach Valis over the past four years, and he epitomizes everything I was looking for in the next head coach of our softball program,” Williams said. “I am confident that he will do a great job at building upon what Coach Brock has built over the past two decades and be able to lead our program in a positive direction.”While with Sam Houston he has handled duties as recruiting coordinator and worked directly with the Bearkat hitters. This season he helped four Bearkat hitters earn postseason honors and in four years has seen 11 hitters be named all-conference.“I feel extremely blessed for this opportunity and thankful for all the people who have allowed me to be here, Coach Brock, Mr. Williams, Mrs. (Chris) Thompson, Mr. (Greg) Hinze and Dr. (Dana) Hoyt,” Valis said. “I’m also very thankful for the support my wife Angela, and our daughter Harper has given me. “I look forward to the future with the program. There is lots of experience coming back. We have been playing a lot of young kids these past few years who have been gaining valuable experience and Coach Brock has built a very good foundation for a winning program. I can’t wait to get started,” he said. Before joining Brock’s staff at Sam Houston, Valis served as the head coach for the Austin Storm Under-18 team in Austin. He also coached outfielders and assisted with hitters at Texas State in 2009 while working to complete his postgraduate degree.He played third base and outfield at Ranger College from 2002 to 2004 before transferring to the University of Texas where he completed his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2007. While at Texas he assisted with the softball team at Concordia University where he was in charge of hitting and outfielders.He was also an assistant coach for the Houston Power Under-18 Select team in 2003 and 2004.A native of Shiner, Texas, Valis comes from a family with strong softball ties. His twin sisters, Haley and Jessica, each played softball at the University of Houston. While there, Jessica earned all-America honors and multiple other postseason awards before eventually being selected to play professionally in the NPF for the Akron Racers.Valis is married to Angela Shimek Valis, also from Shiner and they have a daughter, Harper Faye, who is 10 months old.