Jeff Richards
Jeff  Richards

Head Coach

Alma Mater:
Southern Utah, 1995


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Jeff Richards took over the reigns of the Utah State gymnastics program in July, 2008, becoming only the second head coach in the Aggies' history after legendary coach Ray Corn retired after 31 seasons.

Last season, Richards coached three NCAA Regional qualifiers in Rebecca Holliday, Paige Jones and Sarah Landes. USU finished fifth at the WAC Championships.

In 2011, Richards coached five NCAA Regional qualifiers, the most during his time as head coach of the Aggies. USU finished fifth at the WAC Championships. Richards was named the NCAA Division I National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC) North Central Region Co-Coach of the Year, in a vote by the region's head coaches at the NCAA Division I Gymnastics North Central Regional.

Prior to USU, Richards spent the 2005-08 seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa, where he was named the 2008 North Central Region Assistant Co-Coach of the Year with fellow Iowa assistant, Talya Vexler. The award came after Richards helped the Hawkeyes to a 10-4-1 record, a ranking as high as No. 19 in the national polls and finishing third in the Big Ten.

"I'm thankful to Utah State University for putting their confidence in me, and I'm excited to move the program forward," Richards said when he was hired. "There's a lot of history here for me and it's great to be returning home."

Richards, who has more than 20 years of collegiate gymnastics experience, served as Iowa's main bars coach and spotter for all four events. He was also in charge of travel, equipment and scheduling for the Hawkeyes. In 2008, Richards coached the Hawkeyes to a season-high 49.0 on bars in a dual meet against Iowa State. He also coached senior Katie Burke to a first-place performance on bars against Illinois and Michigan State. Richards also coached freshman Rebecca Simbhudas to first-place performances on bars twice.

Richards began his coaching career as a student-assistant at Utah State from 1988-1990, before transferring to Southern Utah, where he finished his student-assistant coaching duties and earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from SUU in 1995. While at Southern Utah, Richards was an assistant coach for the Thunderbirds under head coach Scott Bauman, also a former USU assistant coach, until 1998.

While at Utah State, Richards helped the Aggies to two appearances in the NCAA Regional Championships in both 1989 and 1990, and coached Tana Davis in the all-around to the NCAA National Championships both seasons. Richards also helped coach all-High Country Athletic Conference honoree Stephanie Green in 1990.

During his stint at Southern Utah, Richards helped increase the team score from 170 to 188 in his first year, as well as coaching individual regional qualifiers each year and one national qualifier, and highly increased the Thunderbirds' recruiting caliber.

From 1998-2004, Richards was head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and was head coach at Winona State University from 2004-05 before joining Iowa in 2005.

While at Wisconsin-Stout, Richards earned the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Award for both the 2000 and 2001 seasons, and the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) Coach of the Year honors for the 2000 season. He coached seven NCGA All-Americans and eight all-conference award winners at Wisconsin-Stout, leading the Blue Devils to the 2001 NCGA National Championships. UW-Stout broke its team-best score each of Richards' six seasons at the helm.

At Winona State, Richards mentored two gymnasts who qualified for the NCGA National Championships.

Richards, who was born and raised in Logan, is a 1988 graduate of Logan High School. He has two daughters, Kanyon (18), who is a freshman at Utah State, and Kennedy (15), who lives in Menomonie, Wis.

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