LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State Athletics announced Monday that head gymnastics coach Nadalie Walsh has resigned to take a similar position at Illinois.
“It is a bittersweet moment to be announcing my decision to leave my Aggie family,” Walsh said. “Coaching at Utah State has been the most enjoyable years of my career. It has been an incredible journey to have partnered with the department, the student-athletes, alumni and the community of Logan to bring Utah State gymnastics back to the regional spotlight.
“I am looking forward to my new adventure of returning to the Midwest and being closer to family,” added the native of Kewaskum, Wis. “I want to thank Brian Evans, Jana Doggett, John Hartwell and former director of athletics Scott Barnes for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Aggie family and for their continual support. Utah State student-athletes and Utah State University will always hold a dear place in my heart.”
Named the third head coach in program history on June 28, 2013, Walsh spent four seasons at Utah State and guided the Aggies to four consecutive NCAA Regional Championship appearances during her tenure, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the program appeared in 17 straight regionals from 1986-2002. Her career record with Utah State stands at 38-63 overall, including 33-34 in the regular season and 17-17 in dual meets.
Utah State was seeded fourth at the 2017 NCAA Seattle Regional, but placed sixth with a team score of 194.850. In 2015 and 2016, USU placed fifth at both the Berkeley Regional (195.150) and Salt Lake City Regional (195.025). In Walsh’s first year at the helm, the Aggies finished sixth at the Fayetteville Regional (191.875).
Prior to competing at regionals this year, Utah State captured second place at the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championships on March 18 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. While Boise State won the meet with a 197.050, the Aggies edged out Southern Utah, 196.100-196.075.
Utah State’s 196.100 was its third-highest team score of the season. Furthermore, it was the best score the Aggies had ever produced in a conference championship meet, the fifth-best home score in school history and the ninth-best overall.
Six Aggies garnered all-MRGC honors following their performances at the league championships. Sophomore Madison Ward, who was tabbed the MRGC Floor Specialist of the Year prior to the meet, earned first-team honors on both vault and floor. She tied for first on floor with a career-high-tying 9.900 and tied for third on vault with a 9.800. Freshmen MaKayla Bullitt and Elle Golison also garnered first-team accolades on vault as that duo tied for third with matching 9.800s. For Bullitt, it was a personal-best score.
Senior Keri Peel earned first-team all-MRGC honors on bars with a career-high-tying 9.875 to tie for third and fellow senior Hayley Sanzotti equaled her personal best of 9.900 on beam to tie for first on the event. Rounding out the all-conference honors was senior Bailey McIntire, who was tabbed second-team on beam after tying for sixth on the event with a season-high 9.850.
In all, 12 Aggies earned all-MRGC accolades a total of 22 times, including 11-first-team honors.
The Aggies had eight different gymnasts earn event wins in 2017, collecting 21 titles overall, to go along with one all-around crown. Ward led the team with 11 event wins – nine more than the next closest gymnasts.
Utah State averaged 48.906 on bars in 2017, the second-highest average in school history behind the 49.100 set by the 2003 squad. The Aggies also averaged 48.917 on floor (fourth-highest in school history), 48.575 on vault (fifth) and 48.512 on beam (seventh).
Prior to Utah State, Walsh spent six seasons at Ball State and four years at Wisconsin-Oshkosh, her alma mater.
Utah State reached a milestone on Feb. 3, 2017, when the Aggies notched a 195.850-194.850 dual-meet victory over BYU in front of 3,313 fans at the Spectrum. It was USU’s 500th win in school history. The Aggies are now 504-596-2 in their 40 years as a program.
Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics, on Facebook at Utah State Gymnastics, and on Instagram at USUGymnastics. Fans can also follow the USU athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at UtahStateAthletics.
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