San Jose, Calif.-----Wayne Wright, the most successful San Jose State University women's gymnastics coach in the program's 42-year history, recently signed a new three-year contract through the 2014 season. Tom Bowen, the Spartans' director of athletics, made the announcement.
Wright completed his 10th season as head coach in 2011 taking his fifth San Jose State team to an NCAA Regional Championship. Making their third NCAA Regional Championship appearance in the last four years, the Spartans matched their best team placing with a fourth-place finish.
During his head-coaching career, four gymnasts advanced to the NCAA Championships as individual entries. Thomasina Wallace and Katie Valleau were NCAA Regional meet individual event champions in 2009 and 2011, respectively. His gymnasts are recipients of 20 first-team and 25 second-team All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) honors. Two Spartans in the last three seasons, Wallace and sophomore-to-be Julia Greer, were named WAC Freshman of the Year.
"In his 10 years as our women's gymnastics coach, Wayne Wright built and sustained a model NCAA Division I athletics program. His student-athletes succeed at high levels against top athletics competition and shine in their academic pursuits. The San Jose State community is so proud of the team's many accomplishments," says Bowen. "We look forward to the program's continued success in the gym and academically with Wayne leading the lives of our student-athletes."
San Jose State's academic achievements by its gymnasts are truly noteworthy. The program's four NCAA Public Recognition Awards for academic excellence as measured by APR (Academic Progress Rate) scores are the most for any sports program among the eight WAC member schools.
His Spartans received 72 academic all-conference awards since 2006 and 45 National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches/Women Scholastic All-American honors in 10 years. The 2011 team was ranked 25th nationally for team grade-point average. Shanice Howard, a senior on this year's San Jose State team, was named the 2011 Arthur Ashe, Jr., Female Sports Scholar of the Year by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
"I'm thankful to San Jose State University, athletics director Tom Bowen and senior associate AD Marie Tuite for their commitment to women's gymnastics and me as the head coach," says Wright. "Our gymnastics program is in a good place. We're starting to recruit more nationally and internationally. There is a huge commitment from the university to help us succeed in the gym and in the classroom."
Wright's college coaching career began in 1987 as a San Jose State assistant coach and includes five seasons in a similar role at Stanford.