While the bright lights as a football player are over for Makana Garrigan, the former Casa Grande Gaucous standout, is continuing his football career on the University of Nevada, Reno coaching staff.
Garrigan went to Reno to continue his football career after graduating from Casa in 2011, but a nagging injury cut his career short.
As a hard-hitting safety, Garrigan's physical play led to nerve damage in his neck that shot down to his right shoulder. He practiced with the team in the fall, but doctors would not allow him to play any longer.
Freshman year of college was one of the first years of Garrigan's life that football was not involved. After the spring, he decided football had to find a way back into his life.
"I went to safeties coach, Mike Bradeson, and told him how passionate about football I am and how I wanted to one day be a coach," Garrigan said.
Bradeson believed in Garrigan and found a role for him.
In his sophomore year, Garrigan was back to being a part of Nevada's football program. He started doing little jobs, such as organizing files, but Garrigan was learning more and more each day.
The transition to coaching kept football in his life, but Garrigan still missed his playing days.
"My first day at practice was really hard, because I knew I could compete with those guys no matter how big or fast they were," Garrigan said.
Competing with anyone has always been Garrigan's mindset, and it showed in the production he had on the Gauchos football team. In three varsity seasons, Garrigan excelled on both sides of the ball, scoring 22 touchdowns and collecting 18 interceptions.