18 Things You Might Not Know About NCAA Gymnastics

In the context of 2018, it may seem tempting to think that Oklahoma and Maggie Nichols are the most dominant power houses gymnastics has ever seen, or that D-D Breaux is the coach who has been around the longest, but you would be wrong on both counts! Here are some random Friday facts to up your NCAA gymnastics trivia game.

  1. Larissa Libby competed under D-D Breaux at LSU. Libby, who was Larissa Lowing at the time, was a Tiger from 1993 to 1996.
  2. Before coaching at Florida, Rhonda Faehn was an assistant under Dan Kendig at Nebraska (1999-2002) and at Maryland (1997-1998) under Bob Nelligan, father of current head coach Brett. Faehn got her start as a student coach at UCLA (1992-1994) under Valorie Kondos-Field. 
  3. KJ Kindler led Iowa State to the Super Six in 2006 before eventually leaving for Oklahoma.

4. Heather Brink won the 2000 all around and vault national titles, as well as that year’s Honda       Award. She competed at Nebraska from 1997 to 2000. She has coached the Huskers since 2012.

5. When Arkansas joined the NCAA for the 2003 season, the entire team was made up of  freshmen.

6. Barbara Tonry is the longest tenured head coach; she has been at the helm since Yale’s program began in 1973.

7. Oregon State’s Jami Lanz competed in the all around in every meet of her career (2006-2009).

8. Sarah Shire Brown competed under Rob Drass at Missouri (2008-2010). Drass is now one of her assistant coaches at Penn State. Brown competed the 2007 season at Utah before transferring.

9. Kim Landrus was an assistant coach under Bob Starkell at Illinois from 2002 to 2011. Starkell became an assistant at N.C. State in 2011, and Landrus took over the program at Illinois. In 2018, Landrus became head coach at N.C. State and kept Starkell on as an assistant.

10. The only gymnasts to win four NCAA event titles in a single year are Missy Marlowe (Utah, 1992: AA, UB, BB, FX), Jenny Hansen (Kentucky, 1995: AA, VT, BB, FX) and Courtney Kupets (Georgia, 2009: AA, UB, BB, FX). No one has ever swept all five individual titles at an NCAA nationals, though as a team Utah swept all five in 1992. Gymnasts with three titles in a single year include: Kelly Garrison-Steves (Oklahoma, 1988), Hope Spivey (Georgia, 1991), Jenny Hansen (Kentucky, 1994), Jamie Dantzscher (UCLA, 2002), Courtney Kupets (Georgia, 2006), Bridget Sloan (Florida, 2016) and Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma, 2018)

Missy Marlowe, 1992

11. Courtney Kupets (Georgia) boasts the most individual national titles over her career with nine. Jenny Hansen (Kentucky) comes in second with eight. Missy Marlowe (Utah) has five. Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols has already tied Marlowe with two years remaining in her career.

Courtney Kupets, 2009

12. Utah is the only team to qualify to all 37 national championships. Alabama only missed the 1982 championship, and Florida only missed in 2000. Georgia and UCLA have each made 34 appearances.

13. Kent State (2011, 12th), Michigan State (1988, 12th), Missouri (2010, 12th), New Hampshire (1994, 12th), N.C. State (1998, 11th), Oklahoma State (1982, 9th), University of Oregon (1985, 6th), Towson (1990, 9th) and Utah State (1991, 12th) have all qualified to nationals once.

14. The national championship was expanded from 10 to 12 teams for the 1987 season.

15. The first Super Six final was held in 1993.

Jim Gault, at the 1993 Super Six

16. The regional format that was retired after the 2018 season was introduced in 1996. During that period, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon State, Penn State, Stanford, UCLA and Utah never missed a regional. Arizona missed only once, in 2018.

17. In 2013, the entire Super Six was represented by female head coaches for the first time. This feat was repeated in 2016 and 2017.

18. For most of its history, Utah was an independent team. It competed in the High Country Athletic Conference from 1986 to 1990 and the Western Athletic Conference from 1991 to 1993. Utah joined the Pac-12 in 2012.

READ THIS NEXT: Throwback Screencap Recap: 2008 Pac-10 Championship

Article by the editors of College Gym News

Like what you see? Consider donating to support out efforts throughout the year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.