Michigan Wolverines men's gymnastics

Michigan Wolverines Men's Gymnastics
Founded 1931
University University of Michigan
Conference Big Ten
Location Ann Arbor, Michigan
Head coach Kurt Golder (14th year)
Home arena Cliff Keen Arena (Capacity: 1,800)
Nickname Wolverines
Colors Maize and Blue[1]
National Championships
1963, 1969 (trampoline), 1970, 1970 (trampoline), 1999, 2010, 2013, 2014
Conference Champions
1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1999, 2000, 2009, 2013, 2014

The Michigan Wolverines men's gymnastics team represents the University of Michigan and competes in the Big Ten Conference. The Wolverines have won seven NCAA championships, 16 Big Ten championships and have been invited to 31 NCAA tournaments. Since 1999, Michigan has finished in the Super Six at the NCAA tournament in 11 of 12 seasons. In 2013, Michigan won its 5th NCAA men's gymnastics team championship. The following year, Michigan repeated as National Champions for its 6th NCAA men's gymnastics team championship.


The Michigan Wolverines men's gymnastics team has had four coaches in 65 years of competition: Wilbur West (1931–1933); Newt Loken (1948–1983); Bob Darden (1984–1996); and Kurt Golder (1997–present).

West era (1931–1933)

Wilbur West was Michigan's first men's gymnastics coach. In three years under West, the team compiled a record of 1–10. After the 1933 season, the gymnastics program was discontinued and was not resumed until 1948.[2]

Loken era (1948–1983)

Newt Loken came to the University of Michigan in 1944 as a master's degree student. On the side, he coached the cheerleading team.[3] At the time of Loken's arrival, Michigan did not have a men's gymnastics program.[3] In 1947, the athletic board awarded varsity status to men's gymnastics, and Loken was named the head coach.[3]

Loken remained the coach of Michigan's men's gymnastics team for 36 years and compiled a record of 250–72–1. His teams won NCAA men's gymnastics championships in 1963 and 1970 and 12 Big Ten championships. Loken coached 71 Big Ten individual event winners and 21 NCAA individual event winners.[4][5]

In 1963, the Wolverines compiled a 6–0 in the regular season and won the Big Ten championship with 210.50 points. They went on to win the NCAA championship with a score of 129 points.[6] The 1963 team also won six NCAA individual championships.[2]

In 1970, the team compiled a perfect 12–0 record and won its second team championship with 164.150 points in the NCAA tournament.[2]

Loken also coached the cheerleading team at Michigan as well as the varsity sport of trampoline. From 1947 through 1964, trampoline was included as an event in gymnastics competitions by both the AAU and NCAA. The first trampoline world championships were held in 1964. Loken led the Michigan trampoline team to NCAA championships in 1969 and 1970.[7] Loken produced more trampoline champions and world medal winners than any other collegiate coach.[8]

As of 2007, the 88-year-old Loken was still a regular at Michigan's men's gymnastics practices and events, and it was reported that he had not missed a Michigan home meet from 1948 to 2007.[3] Assistant coach Scott Vetere said: "He knows everybody on the team, and if he forgets, he's 80-some years old, and he'll ask again. He's just a pure gymnastics guy – always wants to be around gymnastics, always wants to learn more, (always) wants to praise guys for what a wonderful job they're doing."[3]

Darden era (1984–1996)

1906–1907 Michigan men's gymnastics team

Bob Darden (1984–1996) was head coach for 13 seasons. During Darden's tenure as head coach, the Wolverines compiled a record of 76–111–1 and had no Big Ten championships or NCAA tournament berths.[2]

Golder era (1997–present)

Kurt Golder took over as Michigan's head coach in 1997. After Michigan finished the 1996 season with an 0–11 record, Golder quickly turned the program around. In 14 seasons from 1997–2010, Golder has led the Wolverines to a record of 246–166–1, four Big Ten championships, 10 NCAA tournament berths and two NCAA national championships. Since 1999, Golder's teams have finished in the Super Six at the NCAA tournament in 10 of 11 years.[2][9][10]

In 1999, Kurt Golder led the Wolverines to a 19–5 record in the regular season. The 1999 team went on to win the school's third team gymnastics championship with season-best 232.55 points in the NCAA tournament.[2][11] The runner up was Ohio State, which finished with 230.85 points.[11] Justin Toman was Michigan's leader at the 1999 tournament with a score of 58.075.[11] The NCAA championship came just three years after a winless season in 1996. Golder was credited with taking over the program and building it into "a national powerhouse."[11] Upon winning the 1999 NCAA championship, Golder told the press, "The plan was to get here in the fourth year and be in contention in the fifth year. We got lucky and got some great recruits. Everything fell into place."[11]

The 2009 Wolverines finished #2 as the runner-up at the NCAA tournament.[2] Michigan gymnast Thomas Kelley was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Year in 2009.[12]

The 2010 Wolverines won the NCAA men's gymnastics national championship, defeating the second place team from Stanford University by 0.7 points. Michigan gymnast Chris Cameron also won the all-around title with 90.500 points, including 15.450 on the rings and vaulting, 15.150 on parallel bars, 15.050 on pommel horse, and 13.800 on the horizontal bar.[13]

The 2011 Wolverines finished second in the Big Ten and fifth at the NCAA men's gymnastics championship. The highlight of this season was freshman Sam Mikulak who won both the Big Ten and NCAA all-around titles. Sam was the first freshman in NCAA history to win the all-around title.

The 2013 Wolverines won their 16th Big Ten Championship behind an NCAA record-setting 15.95 performance on parallel bars from junior Sam Mikulak and a 1–2 all-around competition finish from Mikulak and sophomore Adrian de los Angeles.[14] On April 20, 2013, behind Sam Mikulak's second career NCAA all-around crown and a runner-up performance from Adrian de los Angeles, the team claimed the program's fifth national title.[15]

The 2014 Wolverines captured their 17th Big Ten Championship to become the first back-to-back conference champions since the 1999–2000 team. Senior Sam Mikulak broke two NCAA records with a 93.70 all around score and a 16.1 parallel bar score.[16] Twenty of the thirty competed routines qualified into the individual event finals the following day, a record breaking number. Gymnasts that qualified included: Syque Caesar (vault, parallel bars, high bar), Sam Mikulak (all six events), Paul Rizkalla Jr. (vault), Tristian Perez-Rivera (vault, floor), Konner Ackerman (vault), Jordan Gaarenstroom (parallel bars, still rings), Nicholas Hunter (parallel bars, pommel horse), Colin Mahar (still rings), Alex Bubnov (still rings), Nolan Novak (pommel horse) and Matt Freeman (pommel horse). Freshman Tristian Perez-Rivera and Junior Paul Rizkalla Jr. placed second on floor and vault respectively while senior Sam Mikulak and sixth year senior Syque Caesar tied for third place on parallel bars.[17]

NCAA individual event champions

Michigan has had 18 gymnasts who have won NCAA individual championships.[6]

  • 1949: Edsel Buchanan – trampoline
  • 1950: Edsel Buchanan – trampoline
  • 1951: Edsel Buchanan – trampoline
  • 1959: Ed Cole – trampoline
  • 1963: Gary Erwin – trampoline
  • 1963: Mike Henderson – floor exercise
  • 1963: Gil LaRose – vault, horizontal bar, all-around
  • 1963: Arno Lascari – parallel bars
  • 1964: Gary Erwin – trampoline
  • 1966: Wayne Miller – trampoline
  • 1967: Dave Jacobs – floor exercise, trampoline
  • 1968: George Huntzicker – trampoline
  • 1969: Dave Jacobs – trampoline
  • 1969: Ron Rapper – parallel bars
  • 1970: George Huntzicker – trampoline
  • 1970: Ron Rapper – parallel bars
  • 1978: John Corritore – parallel bars
  • 1992: Brian Winkler – floor exercise
  • 1999: Justin Toman – parallel bars
  • 2000: Justin Toman – parallel bars
  • 2000: Kris Zimmerman – parallel bars
  • 2002: Daniel Diaz-Luong – horizontal bar
  • 2003: Andrew DiGiore – vault
  • 2010: Ryan McCarthy – horizontal bar
  • 2010: Chris Cameron – all-around
  • 2011: Sam Mikulak – all-around
  • 2013: Sam Mikulak – all-around, parallel bar, high bar
  • 2014: Sam Mikulak – all-around

National Team Members

Michigan has had 18 gymnasts who have been a part of the USA National Team.[18]

  • Justin Toman: 1998 – 2003
  • Scott Vetere: 1999 – 2000
  • Daniel Diaz-Luong: 2001
  • Kris Zimmerman: 2001
  • Chris Cameron: 2009 – 2011
  • Sam Mikulak: 2011–Present
  • Adrian de los Angeles: 2012
  • Stacey Ervin: 2013–2014

2012 London Olympic Game Appearances

Rising junior Sam Mikulak and rising fifth year senior Syque Caesar made their Olympic debuts at the 2012 London Olympic games representing USA and Bangladesh respectively.[19] Sam qualified into individual vault finals where he scored a 16.050, which was a 5th-place finish.[19]


  1. "Style Guide: Colors". Office of Global Communications, University of Michigan. 2015-07-07. Retrieved 2015-07-07.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Michigan Men's Gymnastics Year-by-Year Results". mgoblue.com. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Rosensweig, Colt (2007-02-13). "Blue still impacted by founding father". Michigan Daily.
  4. Wright, Jerry. "Gymnastics Hall of Fame Honorees: Where Are They Now?". U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
  5. Madej, Bruce (1987). Michigan: Champions of the West, p. 180. Sports Publishing. ISBN 1-57167-115-3.
  6. 1 2 "Michigan Men's Gymnastics All-Time National Champions". mgoblue.com. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
  7. "University of Michigan Gymnastics".
  8. "Michigan Men's Gymnastics 2003 Weekly Release #2: A Tribute to Newt". University of Michigan Athletics. 2003-01-15.
  9. "Kurt Golder profile". mgoblue.com. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
  10. Colt Rosensweig (2008-04-14). "It's another Super Six trip for men's gymnastics". The Michigan Daily.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 "MICHIGAN MEN TAKE NCAA GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIP". The Augusta Chronicle. 1999-04-24.
  12. Colt Rosensweig (2009-04-05). "Kelley wins all-around, Big Ten Gymnast of the Year titles". Michigan Daily.
  13. "Michigan wins men's gymnastics NCAA title". Detroit Free Press. 2010-04-16.
  14. "Michigan claims 16th Big Ten Championship". BTN.com. 2013-04-05.
  15. "Title Sweep: Wolverines, Mikulak Crowned NCAA Champs". MGoBlue.com. 2013-04-20.
  16. "Back-to-Back Champs: U-M, Mikulak Win Big Ten Conference Crowns". MGoBlue.com. 2014-03-28.
  17. "Back-to-Back Champs: U-M, Mikulak Win Big Ten Conference Crowns".
  18. "USA Gymnastics – Men's Senior National Team Rosters". usagym.org.
  19. 1 2 http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/mich/sports/m-gym/auto_pdf/2012-13/misc_non_event/gmm-recordbook.pdf
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/1/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.