Administrator Spotlight: Alaska Anchorage's TJ Garlatz
In addition to his compliance coordinator duties at Alaska Anchorage, TJ Garlatz has played a key role in the rise and success of the UAA cross country and track and field programs.
In addition to his compliance coordinator duties at Alaska Anchorage, TJ Garlatz has played a key role in the rise and success of the UAA cross country and track and field programs.
TJ Garlatz
TJ Garlatz

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, uses this space to profile conference student-athletes, coaches, and administrators. Collectively, it is these individuals who make the GNAC one of the top NCAA Division II athletic conferences in the nation. 

Name: TJ Garlatz
Role: Compliance Coordinator/Assistant Cross Country & Track & Field Coach
School: Alaska Anchorage
Colleges Attended: Washington (undergraduate, mathematics), Western Washington (graduate, human movement & performance)

Hometown: Redmond, Wash.

Why Did You Decide To Work In Collegiate Athletics: I feel that athletics is a worthwhile profession. Many of my friends work in the business sector or tech field, which is great, but doing that would seem like I'm letting my life pass me by. I don't want to feel like work is work. I want to enjoy each day. Student-athletes are typically hard-working and passionate about their endeavors. It is fun to be around them and help them reach their goals.

Who Has Influenced You The Most As A Professional, Either As An Inspiration, A Mentor Or Philosophically: My mom. She instilled in me the attitude that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. She's very hard working, very confident and a great role model.

Biggest Obstacle Overcome As A Professional: While this will sound funny, initially it was that I was young. Now it is more that I just look young. I think a lot of people have underestimated me because of age/looks. That said, I'm pretty confident and I know that I'm capable of achieving anything I set my mind to.

What Does Division II Mean To You: Division II gave me my start. I wasn't deemed fast enough to run Division I (and honestly, I probably wasn't fast enough), and I found my place at a Division II school. While competing in Division II, I was afforded the opportunity to compete against everyone in the country - there were no limitations. Division II is a place where student-athletes can achieve all of their goals and have an amazing student-athlete experience.

Extracurricular Activities: I run a lot. I've run marathons somewhat competitively and am currently looking at becoming an ultra-runner. I also play men's rec league soccer. Besides work, running and spending time with my two young kids (20 months old and 3 weeks old), I don't have much free time!

Best Advice You Would Give To Student-Athletes: You are 100 percent responsible for your own athletic and academic performance. Your coaches, professors, and support staff can help guide you along your journey, but ultimately your effort, passion, focus and dedication will determine your success. Have confidence in yourself, prepare to the fullest and have fun!

If You Could Spend The Day With One Person (Past Or Present), Who Would It Be (And Why): I don't have a huge desire to meet any famous person who I don't know. Honestly, I'd just want to spend the day with friends/family who don't live close to me and who I don't get to see as much as I'd like. Depending on who I've seen most recently, I'd either like to have a relaxing day with my parents, my sisters and my nieces and nephews, or I'd like to go for a good long trail run with my friends Tony Tomsich and Kevin Weil. I'm actually trying to plan a weekend running trip where my friends and I run across the Grand Canyon and back later this spring!

Favorite Sports Team: Seattle Seahawks

Favorite Athlete: Ken Griffey, Jr.

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: Competing at the 2003 NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships. Our team at WWU had a core group of four redshirt seniors who knew that this was our last hurrah as collegiate athletes. We dedicated ourselves to the cause of the team during the summer and fall, and did everything that we could to maximize our performance. We had a great season, winning our first GNAC cross country team championship and became the first team from WWU to qualify for the NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships. We went into nationals ranked in the 20s and finished 13th. Personally, I started the year off pretty strongly but had some injury setbacks midseason. While I wasn't in peak condition for nationals, I gutted it out and had one of my best races to finish 68th overall. Achieving as part of a team, especially when those teammates are your best friends, is better than just about anything!