EAST LANSING, Mich. — After guiding the team to the 2022 NCAA Regional Finals and their best finish since 1998, Michigan State Gymnastics Head Coach mike rowe was voted Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA) Region Four Coach of the Year, while assistants Nicole Jones and Whitney Snowden were named Region Four Assistant Coach of the Year on Thursday afternoon.
The honor is the first of Rowe’s career and the fifth all-time for an MSU gymnastics head coach, the first nod to the Spartans since 2000. Rowe was also named the 2022 Big Ten Coach of the Year. at the end of the regular season. .
Associate Head Coach Nicole Jones and assistant coach Whitney Snowden teamed up for their first Assistant Coach of the Year award and fifth in Spartan history, marking the first time MSU has received the award since 1996.
Rowe and his team led the Spartans to a third-place finish in the NCAA Regional Finals in Seattle, Washington as freshmen. Skyla Schulte was selected as an individual qualifier for the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas on April 14, competing on balance beam.
Michigan State fought hard in the finals on April 2 after advancing through the second round of regionals on March 31 ahead of BYU and host Washington. Despite falling behind in championship qualifiers at Utah and Alabama, the Spartans earned their best team score in program history, a 196.650. The team’s vault score (49.400) was also the highest in MSU history, fittingly capping a record season for the Greens and Whites.
This season, MSU has broken the team’s overall score three times, eclipsing the 197,000 mark five times in addition to setting new program highs on vault, bars (49,500), beam (49,500) and ground (49.675). The Spartans finished the season ranked ninth in the nation, with a ninth-place finish on floor, 10th on beam, 15and on bars and 19and on vault.
A total of six gymnasts have been named to the All-Big Ten team this year, along with a freshman duo Skyla Schulte and Gabrielle Stephane earn first team grades and second teams Delanie Harkness, Baleigh Garcia, Giana Kalefe and senior Ashley Hofelich to be named in the second team. Additionally, Schulte was named the Big Ten freshman of the year.
The MSU coaching staff led the Spartans to a first-place finish in the Big Five meet on Feb. 19 and a second-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and the second round of the NCAA Regional Championships to advance to the final, taking third place overall. The Greens and Whites first set their new program best team score on Feb. 13 against Illinois with a 197.425, then improved the record to a score of 197.575 against Western Michigan on March 5 and wrapped up the season with a 197.650 in the team final. at Regionals.
Individually, the staff guided several gymnasts to record scores throughout the season. Schulte broke the all-around record on March 5 with a 39.675, surpassing the previous record set by Kristen Coleman of 39.625 in 2007. Schulte holds five all-around scores in the top ten in the Spartan record books. A tie for the top floor score in program history was achieved by Ashley Hofelicha 9.975 on March 5, the first 9.975 on the floor for a Spartan since 2003.
Jones is in her 10th season with the Spartan coaching staff and her fifth season as associate head coach. A former MSU gymnast and four-time All-Big Ten winner, Jones started as a volunteer assistant in 2011 before becoming an assistant coach and eventually an associate head coach. She mainly works with Spartan gymnasts on the balance beam.
Snowden entered her third season as an assistant coach this year, joining Michigan State after serving as an education clinician and consultant for USA Gymnastics. She primarily works with MSU Gymnastics on leg, vault and floor events.
The Spartans are also assisted by a volunteer coach Alina Cartwright, another former Spartan gymnast who is in her first year of training. She designed the choreography for MSU’s floor routines and helps coach floor events as well as videography for the Green & White. She joined Michigan State after serving as an assistant coach at Alaska-Anchorage for three seasons.