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NCAA Coaching Shake Ups: Greg Marsden and Rhonda Faehn Step Down

The week after the NCAA National Championships, there have been some major coaching shake-ups in NCAA gymnastics.

Utah head coach, Greg Marsden announced his retirement and University of Florida head coach Rhonda Faehn has stepped down to accept a position with USA Gymnastics.


Marsden has been the head coach of Utah for the past 40 years. Longer than most of his gymnasts on his Utes team have been alive. Under his leadership, Utah won 10 national team titles. More than any other school in NCAA history, went to every single NCAA national championship since the NCAA took over women's collegiate gymnastics 34 years ago. He announced his retirement just after the conclusion of the NCAA Nationals.

Replacing him will be his wife, Megan Marsden, who is the current co-head coach. This should be a smooth transition since Megan has been doing the nitty gritty coaching while Greg Mardsen has mostly been on the sidelines.

This is an interesting turn of events. Greg Marsden has been at the helm of Utah for, basically, forever. He didn't announce his retirement earlier because he wanted it to be about his gymnasts, not him. You gotta give the guy mad props for that.

Here four days later, University of Florida head coach Rhonda Faehn just dropped a huge bombshell that she is leaving Florida to be the Senior Vide President of Women's Gymnastics Programs. According to USAGym.org, Rhonda will provide "overall supervision of the women's program including supervision of the national team alongside National Team Coordinator, Marta Karolyi." The Gators' head coach has been with the team since 2002 and last weekend in Fort Worth, she lead the Gators' to a third straight NCAA title. Rhonda was an elite gymnast and trained under the Karolyi's in the late '80's when she was an alternate for the 1988 Olympic Team.

Wow, what a bombshell. Did she figure, eh three times the charm? Rhonda said in an interview with Gatorvision her team was happy for her. She emphasizes this is a once and a lifetime opportunity, which, it really is. How could she turn up that job opportunity? Would you say no to a great job like that?

But what does that mean for Florida? Who will be their fearless leader now?  Logically, one of the two assistant coaches, Adrian Burde and Robert Ladanyi. But it could turn into a Jay Clark situation and go downhill really fast. Will this be the end of their baby dynasty? (Somewhere, KJ Kindler is secretly celebrating in hopes she can have that national title all to herself, finally.)

 Florida's success can be attributed to the hard work of their stellar team, Rhonda has done a great job of recruiting top athletes into her program. They've got a gaggle of stellar new recruits for the 2016 season, including Peyton Ernst, Alicia Boren and Megan Chant.  I suppose with the school year ending soon and the new school year will come faster than anyone knows it. They will have leadership in seniors such as Bridget Sloan and Bridgey Caquatto to help, so they could be just fine. It will be the next few years following that could be extremely trying for the Gators.


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