Wayne Wright was affiliated with San Jose State women's gymnastics for 25 seasons.
Three programs were honored for the second consecutive year, and beach volleyball earned the program's first recognition.
Tuite is promoted from interim director/deputy director to athletics director.
The SAMMYS were handed out for academic, athletics and community service excellence.
Seven Spartan gymnasts received the honor for multiple years.
Wayne Wright is in his 17th season in 2018 as the head coach of the San José State women’s gymnastics team.
The Spartan program has made significant strides during Wright’s tenure, breaking school records, winning conference championships first in 2004 and receiving team invitations to the NCAA Regionals. The Spartans won the 2017 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship as Haleigh Shepard won the vault title and Taylor Chan tied for the floor title.
Since 2003, the Spartans have competed as a team at seven NCAA Regionals. The team’s best finish has been fourth in 2006 and 2011. Two gymnasts have won Regional Championship titles: Thomasina Wallace on bars in 2009 and Katie Valleau on floor in 2011.
Wright coached three gymnasts at the NCAA Championships. In 2011, Valleau was the first Spartan to compete at the championships as an individual specialist after she tied for first on the floor at the regionals with a 9.900. Veronica Porte and Wallace advanced to the 2009 NCAA Championships in the all-around as the top-two qualifiers from the West Region.
In 2012, Wright was named the NCAA West Regional Coach of the Year after the team earned the WAC regular season title and recorded its second-highest team score in school history. He coached Wallace to the 2012 WAC Gymnast of the Year title after she won the conference’s All-Around title and set the school’s all-around record four times that season. She was also the 2009 WAC Freshman of the Year.
Wright’s gymnasts have won three WAC and 15 MPSF individual championships. Last season, two Spartans won individual titles - Haleigh Shepard on vault and Taylor Chan on floor. In 2015, Cami Guyer won the vault, floor and all-around titles and was named the MPSF Gymnast of the Year. That same year, Marissa Unpingco tied for first on beam to join Amberly Klein as the only two Spartan gymnasts to win the MPSF beam championship.
The Spartans have broken every team school record since 2004 including the beam record in 2011 and the vault record in 2015. Every individual record has also been tied or broken during Wright’s tenure.
Outside the gym, Wright believes firmly in the importance of academics and athletics in a college education. The 2011 team posted the highest grade-point average among all 20 San Jose State intercollegiate teams. In his 16 seasons, his gymnastics have received 128 Academic All-Conference Awards and 116 NACGC/W Scholastic All-America recognitions. Since 2010, eight gymnasts have been named Arthur Ashe Jr., Sports Scholars including Shanice Howard who was named the Arthur Ashe Jr., Overall Top Female Scholar. Two gymnasts have received CoSIDA Academic All-District honors - Maddie Herr, 2016; and Howard, 2011.
Wright’s teams are also one of the top Spartan teams in giving back to the community. The team visits The team participates in various activities throughout the season and participates in “Think Pink” month in February as all teams raise the awareness of breast cancer research. The Spartans assisted with camps and clinics held in association with the 2012 and 2016 USA Gymnastics Olympic Trials held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
As an assistant coach, Wright was at Stanford from 1996- 2001 and at San Jose State from 1988-1996. While at Stanford, Wright helped coach the team to its first Pac-10 title in 1998 and an NCAA West Regional championship. During his first stint at San Jose State he coached Tara Law, the 1996 Big West floor champion, to the NCAA West Regional. Showing his success at the collegiate level, Wright has coached gymnasts to all three Bay Area schools’ halls of fame: Kristen Smyth at California, Larissa Fontaine at Stanford, and Dani Albright at San Jose State.
Before he began coaching at the collegiate level, Wright served as program director and head coach of the Kokokahi Gymnastics Center in Kailua, Hawaii, developing Class I National Junior Olympics gymnasts. He also worked with U.S.A. Gymnastics at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and was on the floor when the team won the gold medal.
Active in the community, Wright served on the local organizing committee for the 2007 VISA U.S.A. Women’s Gymnastics Championships held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
Wright has an extensive background in nursing and physical education. He graduated from the Academy of Health Sciences in Texas with a degree in nursing. He also studied physical education and recreation at the University of Hawai’i. Wright served three years in the U.S. Army as a nurse attached to Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a certified Phlebotomy technician and a candidate for a California Nurse’s License.