Walsh Becomes Third Head Coach In Program's History
Utah State University vs. Sacramento State February 28, 2014
Head coach Nadalie Walsh is in her third season at the helm of Utah State’s gymnastics program, which has advanced to the NCAA Regional Championships the past two seasons.
The Aggies concluded the 2015 campaign by placing fifth with a team score of 195.150 at the California-hosted Berkeley Regional. Utah State improved on its 2014 score at regionals by 3.275 points, finishing behind No. 10 Georgia, No. 3 Utah, No. 20 California and No. 15 Boise State. The Aggies finished ahead of in-state rival BYU.
Under the leadership of Walsh, the Aggies defeated BYU in Provo for the first time since 1999 when they recorded a 195.500-195.300 victory on Jan. 23. In that meet, Utah State registered the third-highest beam score in school history with a 49.275. The Aggies defeated the Cougars three out of the four times they faced each other in 2015.
Utah State also notched the third-highest score in school history in 2015 with a 196.350 against BYU on March 13. Two days later, the Aggies recorded the fourth-highest score in school history with a 196.325 at Sacramento State. Utah State also recorded three of the best vault scores in school history, including a 49.225 against BYU on March 13 to rank third all-time in the event. The Aggies also notched a 49.025 (ninth) at Sacramento State on March 15 and a 49.000 (tied for 10th) on March 6 against both BYU and Central Michigan.
Just a year removed from recording the best vault average in school history with a 48.904 in 2014, the Aggies bettered that mark in Walsh’s second season at the helm with an average of 48.938. Utah State also put up the fourth-best beam average in school history with a 48.671, highlighted by a season-high 49.275 against BYU on Jan. 23. That score was good for the third-highest in school history. The Aggies recorded the fourth-best floor average in school history, as well, averaging a 48.909.
Sarah Landes led the way for Utah State at Regionals as she finished seventh in the all-around with a 39.175. In 2015, Landes joined Meagan Lewis (2003) as the only two gymnasts to appear in the top 20 season average lists for all four events. Landes averaged a 9.777 on vault (tied for 12th), a 9.721 on bars (20th), a 9.698 on beam (10th) and a 9.791 on floor (12th).
Miranda Kerr and Jillian Chappel tied for 20th on vault with 9.825s, while Landes and Bailey McIntire tied for 14th on bars with 9.800s at Regionals. JoAnna Cuba tied for sixth on beam with a 9.825 and Landes took 10th with a 9.800. McIntire recorded a 9.825 on floor to tie for 13th.
Walsh, who is just the third head coach in the program’s 38 years, led the Aggies to a fourth-place finish at the 2015 Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championships as Utah State recorded a 195.125. Landes and McKinzey Martinez both earned second-team all-MRGC honors in the all-around, as Landes finished fourth with a 38.900 and Martinez placed fifth with a 38.425. Kerr earned second-team all-MRGC honors on vault as she tied for fourth with a 9.850.
Not only did Landes earn all-MRGC honors in 2015, but she also became the first Aggie to ever receive MRGC Gymnast of the Week accolades after tallying a season-high 39.225 in the all-around in a tri-meet against Boise State and UC Davis on Jan. 30 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Following the 2015 campaign, the North Central Region recognized Walsh’s assistants, Josh Nilson and Andi Dolinsky-Webb, as the Assistant Coaches of the Year, as well as Utah State Senior Associate Athletics Director Dr. Brian Evans as the Administrator of the Year. It was the second consecutive season the three of them were honored as such.
The Aggies also excelled in the classroom as a total of 13 gymnasts were tabbed Academic All-MRGC.
Walsh guided the Aggies to a No. 5 seed at the 2014 NCAA Regional Championships, the school’s first appearance in regionals since 2007. Prior to competing in regionals, Utah State placed fifth at the MRGC Championships with a season-high score of 196.075, its highest score since the 2003 season.
In her first season at Utah State, Walsh mentored four Aggies to all-conference honors in Landes, Paige Jones, Bailey McIntire and Michelle Yasukochi. Jones earned first-team honors on both bars and floor, and second-team honors on vault. Yasukochi earned second-team honors on beam, Landes earned second-team honors on floor and in the all- around, and McIntire earned second-team honors on floor.
Walsh led Utah State to its best start to a season since 1999 as the Aggies began the 2014 campaign with road wins against Iowa and Southern Utah, and a victory at home against BYU. Utah State reached the 196-point mark in three consecutive meets during the season. Prior to that, the program had hit the 196-point plateau just 10 times. Utah State also tallied the fourth-best floor average with a 48.791 in 2014. This included two Aggies who reached the 9.900 mark three different times during the season.
Prior to Utah State, Walsh spent six seasons as the head coach at Ball State, where she coached six different gymnasts to the NCAA Regional Championships for a total of 10 appearances, as well as four Mid-American Conference individual event champions, including two on bars, one on vault and one on floor. She also coached one MAC Senior Athlete of the Year, as part of eight all-Mid American Conference gymnasts during her tenure at Ball State.
Prior to Ball State, Walsh spent four years (2004-07) as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, her alma mater. Before becoming UW-Oshkosh’s head coach, Walsh was an assistant coach for the Titans from 2001-03. She coached the 2000 Division III national floor champion as well as the national runner-up in 2001, in helping the Titans to a second-place finish at national in 2001.
A native of Kewaskum, Wis., Walsh earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and fitness from UW-Oshkosh in 2000. She and her husband, Victor, have three children Aiden (14), Ireland (12) and Valient (11).
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