U of U Women’s Gymnastics: Red Rocks!

In all, the team received 12 NCAA All-American Awards with a regular season of 12 wins (five on the road). The team also has eight returning letter winners with five All-Americans on the 2009 team.

This year promises to be a banner year for the U’s Red Rocks as well and along with talented gymnasts, Coach Megan Marsden has played a monumental role along with her husband Greg.

About Coach Megan Marsden

Associate head coach Megan Marsden—the best college gymnast in the nation when she competed for Utah—has developed into one of the most respected coaches in the profession.

Marsden, now in her 25th year of coaching, has played a major role in all 10 of Utah’s gymnastics championships as either an athlete (1981-84) or a coach (1985, ’86, ’90, ’92, ’94, ’95). In her 28 years as a Utah gymnast or coach, the Utes have finished in the top three 20 times, winning seven NCAA runner-up trophies and three bronze medals.

As gymnast Megan McCunniff, she led Utah to four straight national titles—winning the NCAA all-around championship in 1983 and 1984, along with the 1984 vault championship. She finished her career as a 12-time first-team All-American and as the NCAA all-arounder record holder. She also graduated as the school record-holder on the vault, beam and floor. Her senior year, she received the Broderick Award, recognizing her as the country’s top collegiate woman gymnast.

She joined Utah’s coaching staff right after her competitive career, serving as the program’s assistant coach from 1985-96 and getting promoted to associate head coach in 1997.

In 2005, Marsden was voted the co-National Assistant Coach of the Year by her peers. She was also selected the 2005 and 2007 NCAA North Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.

Marsden has coached the Utah balance beam team since taking up coaching 25 years ago and she assists with the floor exercise. She has mentored Utah gymnasts to 105 All-America awards on the beam and floor and has coached five NCAA individual event champions.

Four of those national champions competed on the beam (combining for seven NCAA titles) and one on the floor exercise. Utah is the only program in the nation that can claim two back-to-back beam champions: Missy Marlowe in 1991-92 and Summer Reid in 1996-97. Marlowe also won the 1992 floor championship. Marsden’s other beam titlists are Theresa Kulikowski in 1999 and 2001 (Kulikowski missed a chance to repeat due to knee surgery in 2000) and Ashley Postell in 2007. Marsden is also credited with three four-time balance beam first-team All-Americans: Kulikowski, Postell and Shannon Bowles.

Utah has won 53 All-America awards on the beam under Marsden, including citations for all six members of her 2002 beam team (four qualified for individual finals).

Marsden also has assisted in 52 All-America performances on the floor exercise, including NCAA champions Lisa Mitzel (1985) and Marlowe (1990), and NCAA runners-up Kulikowski (1999) and Denise Jones (2000). Winning the NCAA bronze during Marsden’s coaching tenure are Bowles (2002), Melissa Vituj (2004) and Postell (2007).

Along with her current coaching responsibilities, Marsden plays a vital role in Utah’s recruiting efforts, in addition to directing the team’s strength and conditioning and community service programs.

Marsden utilized her gymnastics experience outside of the gym when she was selected to play the role of Jo Ellen Carter in the 1985 movie American Anthem. Also in 1985, she was one of 10 former gymnasts chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to participate in a study on motion sickness.

Her coaching accolades include 2005 National and 2006-2007 Regional Coach of the Year awards. In 1992, she and husband Greg were co-recipients of the prestigious Utah Young Alumni Association “Par Excellence Award.” In 1996, Marsden became the first Ute gymnast inducted into the Crimson Club Hall of Fame, and in 2003, she was inducted into the Utah Hall of Fame.

The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native graduated from Utah in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. She and Greg have two sons, Montana and Dakota. Montana is a sophomore at the University of Utah.

Season tickets start at $20 in General Admission and are on sale now by logging onto www.utahutes.com or calling 581-UTIX. Single meet tickets go on sale December 12th and begin at $4 per meet in the GA.

2009 Home Schedule

Dec. 12 Red Rocks Preview

Jan. 9 vs. UCLA

Jan. 23 vs. Washington

Feb. 6 vs. BYU/SUU/Texas Woman’s

Feb. 20 vs. Michigan

March 6 vs. Arizona State

March 13 vs. Florida

All meets begin at 7pm in the Huntsman Center and parking is FREE!

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