Notes From Media Day
August 17, 2011 – | No Comment

Before I begin, I should probably explain why we haven’t posted in a while. Frankly, it’s just been bad timing. I just got back from a study abroad program in Europe, and Charlie is still …

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Farewell to Penn State Women’s Gymnastics coach

Submitted by on June 17, 2010No Comment

Make that four.

First it was men’s soccer, followed by men’s lacrosse, then women’s lacrosse suffered the same fate, now Steve Shephard, the head coach of the women’s gymnastics program has resigned to pursue other career opportunities. He marks the 8th coach in Penn State women’s gymnastics history.

Sport Coach # of years at PSU
Baseball Robbie Wine 6
M Basketball Ed DeChellis 7
W Basketball Conquese Washington 3
Track and Field Beth Alford-Sullivan 11
Fencing Emmanuil G Kaidanov 28
Field Hockey Charlene Morett 23
Football Joe Paterno 45
M Golf Greg Nye 18
W Golf Denise St Pierre 17
M Gymnastics Randy Jepson 18
W Gymnastics Steve Shephard (retired) 18
M Lacrosse Glenn Thiel (retired) 33
W Lacrosse Suzanne Isidor (retired) 10
M Soccer Barry Gorman (retired) 22
W Soccer Erica Walsh 4
Softball Robin Petrini 14
Swimming & Diving John Hargis 2
M Tennis Todd Doebler 4
W Tennis Dawna Prevette 3
M Volleyball Mark Pavlik 15
W Volleyball Russ Rose 30
Wrestling Cael Sanderson 2

“I have decided to retire from coaching after a 30 year career in gymnastics, to pursue other career opportunities,” said Shephard. “It has been my great honor, and privilege, to work with all of the gifted young people associated with this program over the last 21 years. I would like to thank Tim Curley, and all the great people at Penn State, for providing me with the wonderful opportunity to represent this great university. I wish all of the current, and future team members at PSU nothing but the best, and I hope for a healthy, and successful future in the years ahead.”

During his 18 year stint at Penn State, Steve amassed a 256-144-2 record including 8 national championship appearances, most recently in 2009. Last season however, ended in disappointment for the Lions who failed to qualify for nationals when they finished 3rd in regionals despite competing in the friendly confines of Rec Hall.

But it wasn’t just the success on the field that solidified Gorman’s place in Nittany Lions lore. It was his dedication to winning the Penn State Way, emphasizing the student aspect to his student-athletes that earned the coach 3 Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. 122 academic All-Big Ten recipients and 70 NACGC/W Scholar Athlete honors is proof that Gormans’ players excelled both on the field and in the classroom. In fact, his teams have ranked in the Top 35 in the nation academically since 2001.

Shephard’s resignation marks the fourth head coaching vacancy since April and that should worry Penn State fans. It is a disturbing trend for a university that has a collection of head coaches who have been around for a long time with tenure-like status.

Although Shephard told the team he wants to continue to work at Penn State when he announced his resignation, assistant coach Jessica Bastardi will be the interim head coach until Shephard’s successor is found.

Penn State would be remiss not to contact women’s gymnastics coaching legend Suzanne Yoculan who coached the Georgia Gym Dogs to 10 national titles in 26 years, including 5 straight from 2005 up until her final season in 2009.

Her strong ties to Penn State that makes her the perfect candidate to replace Shephard. Youclan competed for the Nittany Lions and graduated from Penn State in 1975 with a B.S. in therapeutic recreation with a dance emphasis. She will be the long shot candidate for the job though considering she announced her retirement in 2009 from Georgia. It would take a heck of a recruiting pitch to convince Yoculan to come out of retirement when she clearly has very little left to prove.

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