Who is Chris Garrett?
Chris grew up in Texas, graduating from Plano Senior High School in 1988. If you are reading this and don’t know anything about Plano; you must understand that this city is what made Chris who he is today. Plano Senior High in the 80’s beat people in every sport, every week, before they even took the field or the court. His senior year, the football team was ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today, after winning back to back state championships in the largest classification in Texas, and was at that time the biggest graduating class in the state. Winning wasn’t expected, it was the norm. Losing wasn’t even in the vocabulary of a Plano Wildcat student; whether it was in athletics or academics. Being around losing programs and people that accept losing, in anything, is what drives Chris absolutely crazy. He has a very hard time understanding why people A.) accept it and B.) don’t work as hard as they can 24/7/365 to change the culture. He thought everyone in the world thought the same way and it wasn’t until he graduated and got out in the “real world” that he realized that they didn’t .
As a kid, Chris was always the leader in organizing the neighborhood football games and clubs. Usually the tallest kid on the block and the “Alpha” male that loved organizing things and controlling everything that he got around, he had no problem getting the other kids to follow. Chris was always the entrepreneur, as he started mowing yards for the neighbors for money. However, he always had a big heart, as he would take all of the money he made mowing yards and open up the JCPenney catalog every Christmas and circle the gifts that he would buy for his family members and spend all of his hard-earned money on others, just so he could see the joy in their faces when they opened his present.
After high school, Chris attended Navarro College in Corsicana, TX, then joined the Marine Corps. He then graduated from Texas A&M-Commerce with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with a double minor in Business and Psychology. He later recevied a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Social Science from Mississippi College.
While attending Texas A&M-Commerce as an undergrad, Chris volunteered as a student assistant; working with the football team in the areas of strength and conditioning, video and coaching tight ends. As a former athlete in the fields of football, basketball, baseball and track in Plano, Chris had been away from sports for nine years. This exposure back into athletics is what lit the fire for Chris again. This is where he realized what he had forgotten as an adult; that his true passion is helping others succeed and competing to be the best in everything that he does; especially in the areas of sports.
So began his journey into coaching football. Chris coached college football for eight years, then he coached at the high school level in Texas for five years. During this time, he coached some of the best players in the country; many of which went on to play Arena Ball, CFL, NFL Europe and the National Football League. He made so many connections with many coaches, administrators and players that helped mentor him and make him grow as he worked feverishly in the areas of strength and conditioning, recruiting and coaching various positions; mainly wide receivers and offensive line. He also gained experience in coaching basketball, track and baseball at the high school levels.
Chris loved what he did and it showed, as he was the Coach that lit up the room when he walked into it and was usually the loudest and most energetic guy at practice. During the games, you could always spot him on the sidelines talking into the headset while spitting sunflower seeds to calm his energy down. It took everything he had not to run out on the field himself and make a play when things weren’t going the way he wanted. He built so many relationships on and off the field with his players and their families and it was obvious that he was loved by so many by the way they acted when they saw him. Even though he was usually the “Disciplinarian Coach” wherever he went, the players knew that he was not only tough, but fair and that he always had their best interest in mind.
After thirteen years of coaching, God lead him in a different direction, to give him the opportunity to learn how to run an effective business. In 2010, Chris started 4 States Sports, as an avenue to give the kids around here what kids in Plano had; a chance to compete and be coached by the best in their sport. Chris loved the Texas State 7-on-7 Championships and wanted to do the same thing in Missouri. He also wanted to help athletes get college scholarships. He was successful in helping many kids around the country get scholarships, and he hosted many 7-on-7 Tournaments, Lineman Challenges, Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball and Softball Combines, Coaching Clinics and Charity Golf Tournaments. His business was successful, but not at the scale that he wanted. Chris had not learned the value of “patience” at this time and decided to hang up the business and go learn more at a much bigger scale.
One year after opening the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Joplin, Missouri, Chris took over his own restaurant on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Chris became Restaurateur, (an honor reserved for the best restaurants in the company in the areas of people culture and business acumen), one year later. While working there, Chris also won the company’s award for Best Marketing Restaurant in the entire company, of then 2,500 restaurants. Of course, Chris built many relationships with volleyball, football, baseball, basketball and softball players while working on the campus and many of these athletes will be coming back to help him with his endeavors. After just 2.5 years in the company, Chris was then promoted to Area Manager, where he was overseeing fourteen stores in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri; overseeing over $42,000,000 in operations and leading approximately 500 crew members and managers. While he was at the helm, he produced ten more Restaurateurs and continues to build more; as two more are slated to become Restaurateur in the next few months.
In 2019, after working for Chipotle for six years, Chris finally succumbed back to his true love; athletics. Watching three of his four daughters playing basketball, softball, volleyball and track everywhere but where they lived sparked the idea to once again try and bring the opportunities to the kids in this area. He saw a need for a place where athletes can get personalized training year round, while being surrounded by good people that want to help them get to the next level. A place where losing is not “ok” and mediocre is not acceptable. A place where discipline is instilled if it is missing at home and at school. A place that is not built to undermine their school or travel ball coaches, but to work with them to implement their philosophies and programs in times where the coaches just don’t have time to do what they want with every kid. As a former coach, Chris gets it and wants to help the kids, the parents and the coaches.
The Training Facility is just the beginning. Chris wants to build an area that will allow counselors to hold classes with abused teenagers or kids that are contemplating dropping out of school or committing suicide. He wants to help the mentally and physically disabled. Programs will be set up to help wounded veterans and veterans with PTSD and depression. Future phases of the facility include indoor batting cages, indoor climbing walls, gymnasiums, baseball and softball fields, a natatorium for swim and diving meets and an indoor/outdoor water park.
Chris has gone full circle and wants to give back again. He wants to bring all of his connections in many sports and psychological fields together to create a space where everyone feels welcome and loved. He knows that there are so many children and adults in this area that don’t have the advantages that the people in the bigger cities have; big sports facilities with dozens of coaches and travel teams, top of the line equipment and year-round training. He is trying to change that. He is trying to give the kids that want to go to the next level the best opportunity possible to achieve their goals and dreams, without having to travel 45 minutes to 2.5 hours for practice. He wants to bring the people that influenced him in front of these kids and let them feel what he feels when he gets around these successful people; whether it’s in the field of athletics, or business, or mental toughness and motivation.
The success of this endeavor is not measured in dollars and cents, but by the lives changed. Chris believes that Coaches influence more lives in one week than most people do in a lifetime and considers being called “Coach” is the most incredible title that anybody can hold.
Two of his favorite quotes are:
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”
– John Wooden, Basketball
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all-time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
– Vince Lombardi, American Football