Markham has passion and high aspirations for the rapid ascent of the Ashford University men's soccer program on the national level and based on his recent track record of success, he's well on his way.
Since his first season on the sidelines in 2009, Markham has led the Saints to their first-ever NAIA National Championships appearance, a Midwest Collegiate Conference regular-season and tournament crown and a rare undefeated regular season.
And in 2010, Markham had the Saints knocking on the door of another spot in the national tournament bracket with an impressive 13-win campaign. To date in his AU coaching career, Markham boasts a winning percentage of over 86 percent and is armed with an overall record of 32-5-5, including 12 wins versus two losses in league play.
Sandwiched in the magical 2009 season, the Saints climbed as high as No. 22 in the nation in the final NAIA Top-25 Coaches Poll and Markham went on to collect Midwest Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year recognition and NSCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year honors by his peers.
In Markham's first year at the helm, the Saints bought into his philosophy and exploded on the national scene, establishing themselves as defensive stalwarts that led to a season for the ages and some additional banners lining the ceiling in Ashford's Kehl Arena.
Markham originally joined the coaching staff at Ashford with a diverse coaching background. He began his career as an assistant soccer coach at Westmar University in LeMars in 1993.
Markham followed that stint with an assistant coaching position at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. While in the Lone Star State, MSU qualified for the NAIA National Tournament, playing for the National Championship in 1995.
Markham was named the Head Coach of the Sioux City Breeze, a USL Premier Development League team in 1997. He coached there for one season before being named the Head Men's and Women's Soccer coach at Marycrest International University in Davenport, ultimately leading the men's unit to a Midwest Classic Conference runner-up finish in 1997.
Markham also has extensive coaching experience at the high school level. From 2001-03, he served as the Head Boys Soccer Coach at Sioux City-North High School, finishing his tenure there with three consecutive state tournament appearances and an overall record of 52-6-2.
Markham then moved on to coach the girls' soccer program at Davenport Assumption High School and coach the boys' soccer program at Geneseo High School, where he led both teams to unprecedented success in school history.
Markham also currently coaches the Geneseo Explosion Club team as well as the prominent Pleasant Valley High School girls' program, to which he guided a record-tying 11 Iowa state tournament appearances. He also has a USSF "A" coaching license to his credit.
Markham, a 1995 graduate of Teikyo Westmar University, received his Master of Science degree in Kinesiology from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1997. He currently resides in Bettendorf with his wife, Kelly, and their daughters, Peyton and Riley.
The Saints Under Markham (2009-Present)
|Year||Record||Win %||Conf. Record||Conf. Finish|
|* Advanced to the NAIA Men's Soccer Championships|
|^ Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament Champions|
Garza was officially brought on board in August 2010 as a graduate assistant coach thanks to record-breaking roster numbers for the Ashford men's soccer program and he is preparing to enter his third year of service this fall, and the first as the Assistant Men's Soccer Coach. He serves AU Head Coach Richard Markham in helping with all aspects of the program.
Garza was instrumental in helping the Saints to their first ever NAIA National Championships berth in a memorable undefeated 2009 regular season that included Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) regular season and postseason tournament crowns.
All told in his prolific career as a forward/defender, Garza was a four-time All-MCC choice by the league's coaches and a three-time Academic All-MCC selection. He recorded a hat trick in three separate games in 2009, leading the Saints with 14 scores as a senior.
Garza was a two-year team captain and was twice named the MCC Offensive Player of the Week last season. He cashed in for five goals as a freshman, following a prep career at Guilford High School in Rockford, Ill.
Garza also serves as a coach for the the Quad City Eagles, a semi-professional club associated with the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL). In addition, he serves as Head Coach for the boys team at Central DeWitt High School, located in DeWitt, Iowa.
Garza also received his coaching authorization from the state of Iowa and has obtained his United States Soccer Federation (USSF) "D" license.
Garza's younger brother, Geraldo, is a senior on this year's Ashford squad. Eddie obtained his degree in Sports and Recreation Management and is pursuing his Master's Degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University.