Utah Gymnastics Collects Region 2 Coaching Awards
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The University of Utah gymnastics coaching staff was honored for their season-long efforts on Thursday morning by the Women's Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA), claiming the 2022 Region 2 Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year awards.
Head coach Tom Farden was voted by his peers as the co-winner of Region 2 Coach of the Year, while assistant coaches Carly Dockendorf, Jimmy Pratt, and Myia Hambrick were named co-winners for the Assistant Coach of the Year. The selection is Farden's third regional honor of his career (2008, 2020, 2022), while Dockendorf earns her second award as an assistant coach at Utah (2020).
The Ute coaching staff guided the program to its third consecutive Pac-12 Regular Season Championship, as well as its second-straight Pac-12 Championship and NCAA Regional title. The Utes have been ranked in the top four the entire season, while all four events ranked inside the top six of the country. Utah posted four of its top-11 scores all-time, marking the most 198s in a single season in program history. Utah's season-high 198.575 is tied for the fourth-best score in NCAA history and is the second-best score in school history.
Farden, Dockendorf, Pratt, and Hambrick led a program-record 10 Red Rocks in earning All-Pac-12 honors, which was the most in the conference this season. Five Utes earned WCGA Regular Season All-American honors as well, while Maile O'Keefe was selected as the 2022 Pac-12 Specialist of the Year.
Pratt led the vault group this season that finished fifth in the nation, while he coached Lucy Stanhope and Grace McCallum to a No. 20 ranking nationally on the event. Under Pratt's guidance, Alexia Burch and Jaedyn Rucker joined Stanhope and McCallum on the All-Pac-12 vault team this season. Burch is the reigning Pac-12 vault champion.
Farden and Pratt took on the uneven bars responsibilities this season and saw the group post a school-record 49.800 against Minnesota that had previously stood since the 1998 season. The coaching duo has seen four perfect scores on bars this season, marking the second-most all-time on bars in a single season. McCallum finished the year tied for second in the country on bars and is the reigning Pac-12 bars champion. McCallum, Cristal Isa and Sage Thompson each earned conference honors on the apparatus.
Dockendorf leads the Utah beam team and coached the group to a No. 1 finish in the nation through the regular season for the first time since 2005. The Ute beam team includes five Red Rocks in the top-25 of the country and five of the top eight beam workers in the Pac-12. Dockendorf's event has hit a 49.7 or better on beam five times this season, including both competitions at the NCAA Regional to earn a berth at the NCAA Championships. O'Keefe set the program record for most 10.0s on beam in a single season after the junior gymnast has recorded three this year, while there have been five 10s on beam as a team which is the most in a single season for Utah. Additionally, Abby Paulson became a back-to-back Pac-12 beam champion this season.
The final event – floor – is coached by the tandem of Farden and Hambrick. Finishing ranked fourth in the nation, the Utah floor team was led by All-Americans Sydney Soloski and McCallum, while O'Keefe also pulled in All-Pac-12 honors on the event. McCallum was also the Pac-12 floor co-champion. Floor has been Utah's most consistent event this season even with it being the event with the most frequent lineup changes. Utah has competed 11 gymnasts on the event and has scored above a 49.500 in nine outings.
Regional awards are determined by a coaches' vote. Along with Utah, Region 2 consists of Air Force, BYU, Denver, Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Southern Utah and Utah State.
The Region 2 Coaches of the Year will return to the competition floor with the fourth-ranked Utah gymnasts next Thursday, April 14, at the NCAA Championships. Utah will take on top-ranked Oklahoma, No. 5 Alabama, and No. 8 Minnesota in the first semifinal of the day at 11 a.m. MT at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.