Walsh Becomes Third Head Coach In Program's History
Utah State University vs. Sacramento State February 28, 2014
The Aggies concluded the 2015 campaign by placing fifth with a team score of 195.150 at the California-hosted Berkeley Regional. Sarah Landes led the way for Utah State as she finished seventh in the all-around with a 39.175.
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. 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 at Regionals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2013, Walsh guided Ball State to its highest team Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) in school history with a 193.820. Her teams are also in the BSU record books for breaking the school record for team vaulting score (49.000), as well as tying the individual school record for top score on floor with a 9.95 by Denasiha Christian in 2013, as part of coaching nine individuals into the top five marks in school history.
Off the floor of competition, Walsh's teams earned 12 academic all-MAC accolades. Ball State had a perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) in 2009 as well as a near 1.000 APR score in the other five years of her tenure.
Prior to Ball State, Walsh spent four years (2004-07) as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, her alma mater. In 2007 her final season at UW-Oshkosh, Walsh guided the Titans to the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championship. The NCGA is the governing body for college gymnastics for NCAA Division III schools. It was UW-Oshkosh's second national title in the program's history and the first since 1989. The title win by the Walsh-led Titans in 2007 halted a six-year reign by UW-La Crosse.
In four seasons at UW-Oshkosh, Walsh mentored the program from not qualifying for nationals in her first season, to finishing sixth at the NCGA National Championships in 2004, to a third-place finish in 2005 before winning the 2007 national title. Walsh was named the NCGA Coach of the Year in 2006 and also earned Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Coach of the Year accolades in 2005 and 2006, as well as Division III West Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
During her UW-Oshkosh tenure, Walsh coached 13 All-Americans, including nine in 2007. She also mentored five UW-Oshkosh team school records, as well as numerous individual marks.
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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