|College:||Georgia College '74|
Overall: 453-297 (.604)
At GCSU: same
Wins and losses are an easy way to identify a successful coach. Graduation rates and other intangibles can describe a successful program. Fortunately for Bobcat fans, Georgia College head coach John Carrick fits well into both categories. With 20 winning seasons, eight 20-win seasons, six NCAA Tournament appearances, two regular season Peach Belt Conference titles, four PBC tournament championships, and more than 400 career victories, Carrick has more than earned a reputation as a winner. If you were to ask coach Carrick, with over a quarter-century as GCSU's head coach, of which statistics he is most proud, he would probably answer "92". That's the percentage of senior players in his program who have graduated from college.
"One of our team goals every year is to graduate all of our seniors and make progress toward graduation for the rest of our kids," said Carrick. "I let the team set the goals on the amount of wins, but I prefer to stress academic goals as well as camaraderie and chemistry."
Carrick has the distinction of holding the longest tenure as a head coach at Georgia College in any sport. His record entering the 2009-10 season is 453-297.
The Bobcats put up their seventh 20-win season in 2006-07 (22-10). They also made a trip to the NCAA Tournament, dropping a pair of nationally-ranked teams before falling in the region final in overtime. Carrick also coached his first player to All-America honors.
He took over as head coach for the 1983-84 season following a dismal 2-22 season the year before. Under his guidance, the then Lady Colonials battled their way to respectability and Carrick's first winning season in 1985-86. Georgia College has nearly 18 wins per season under Carrick during his previous 26 seasons. He picked up his 200th career win during the 1995-96 PBC Championship season with a 68-55 victory over rival Kennesaw State. He earned his 250th career win during the 1997-98 season with a 74-62 victory at home over Clayton State. He notched his 300th win in 2001 with a 85-67 victory at Lander and claimed his 350th win during the 2003-04 season with a 78-62 victory over Tuskegee. His 400th win came in the first round of the 2006 PBC Tournament with a 63-60 victory over Armstrong Atlantic. Win number 450 came just last season, in a 76-53 drubbing of UNC Pembroke.
"My job is to get the best out of the athletes every time they hit the floor and to get them to play together," Carrick said. "I do my work in practice. In games it's all in their hands."
Carrick started his coaching career at Putnam County High School in Eatonton, Ga., where he coached football, baseball, and girls basketball. In 1982, he took a perennial loser and led them to a 29-0 record and a Class AA State Title. He was named the Class AA Coach-of-the Year and was selected as the Macon Telegraph Middle Georgia Prep All-Sports Coach of the Year.
In 1983, Carrick came back to his alma mater to help build a winning tradition at Georgia College. Two years later, he had his first winning season. The winning tradition reached new heights a short time later when coach Carrick's squads posted back to back twenty-win campaigns following the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons.
The success story continued in 1990-91 when GCSU made the switch from NAIA to NCAA Division II and the PBC. That year Georgia College finished with an 18-11 overall record. The following year Carrick's team was the Peach Belt regular season co-champions with a 12-2 conference mark and 22-7 overall record.
The wins just kept adding up, capped by a sensational two-year stretch during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons in which Carrick led his team to its first outright regular season PBC title, first PBC Tournament title, and two NCAA Tournament berths. The Bobcats made history in 2002 after becoming the lowest seeded team to win the PBC Tournament. The Bobcats were the first team to win four games in the tournament and also knocked off both No. 1 seeds along the way to advance to NCAA Tournament for the third time. GCSU did it again in 2004, winning four games on the way to its third PBC Tournament title, knocking off both No. 1 seeds. The Bobcats advanced all the way to the "Sweet Sixteen" at the NCAA Tournament, falling in the regional championship game. GCSU won the PBC Tournament again in 2006 to earn its fifth berth into the NCAA Tournament.
In the 2008-09 season, the Bobcats scratched and clawed to a 16-11 record, including a 11-8 mark in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC). The winning season was the program’s fifth in its last six.
Since joining the PBC, the Bobcats have compiled a 348-205 composite record and a 184-137 conference mark.
Carrick earned a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1974 and a master's degree in health, physical education and recreation in 1976, both from Georgia College. He competed in soccer and tennis, and was named GC Male-Athlete-of-the-Year in 1974. Carrick has one son, Josh, who attended GCSU and has been a student-assistant coach on his staff.