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Top 10 2014-15 Utah Athletics Storylines: #5 Greg Marsden retires

Our #5 story of of the 2014-15 year, is the retirement of Utah gymnastics coach Greg Marsden.

After 40 years at the helm of Utah gymnastics, legendary coach Greg Marsden decided to retire in April. Marsden had reportedly told Utah’s new co-head coaches, Megan Marsden (his wife) and Tom Farden his decision to retire before the season began. The three of them decided to keep his decision a secret, however, preferring to keep the focus on the student athletes during the season. In Marsden’s final season, the Red Rocks came ever so close to sending him out with a national championship, falling just half of a tenth of a point short of the title.

Marsden retires with 10 national championships to his name, tied for most by any women’s gymnastics team. In his coaching career, he placed teams in the top five nationally in 29 of his 40 seasons as head coach. Utah has never missed qualifying for the national championship in the past 40 years and is the only school to qualify for all 34 NCAA championships. Under Marsden, Utah has had 25 individual national champions and won 367 All-America awards. Marsden retires as the winningest coach in college gymnastics history, with a record of 1,048-208-8.

Beyond just the numbers, Marsden has been invaluable in promoting the sport of gymnastics and the University of Utah. Because of the atmosphere Marsden helped cultivate at Utah gymnastics meets, the Red Rocks own every gymnastics attendance record in the books. The team has led the nation in attendance for all women’s sports five times, including the past three years. The gymnastics program has averaged over 11,000 fans a meet since 1990 and over 14,000 since 2010. The team has been featured nationally  in write ups by the New York times and CBS for their ability to draw crowds in an often overlooked sport.

Marsden pushed his athletes to achieve success not just in the gym, but also in the classroom. The Utah gymnastics program has repeatedly had a high academic performance. The 2014 team ranked first in cumulative grade point average among all gymnastics teams in the country with a 3.78 GPA.

Marsden is leaving the Utah gymnastics program in the capable hands of his wife Megan, and Tom Farden. Megan Marsden was a NCAA championship gymnast for the Utes in the early 80’s where she led the team to 4 national championships and was a 12 time first team all american. She has spent 31 years on staff and has been co-head coach with Greg since 2010. Farden has been with the program for the past five years, serving as Utah’s leading recruiter in addition to coaching uneven bars and assisting with floor. This past season, he coached Georgia Dabritz to an individual national championship on the uneven bars. He has 18 years of experience coaching gymnastics including 6 years as a head coach at Southeast Missouri State.

With Greg Marsden’s retirement, Utah loses one of the all time great coaches in NCAA history regardless of sport. Without Marsden it is safe to say the program would not be where it is today. The sustained success of Utah gymnastics is a tribute to all the work and dedication of Coach Marsden.

Check out the rest of the countdown below:

Top 10 storylines: #6 Devontae Booker Returns
Top 10 storylines storylines: #7 Jakob Poeltl Returns
Top 10 storylines: #8 - Georgia Dabritz wins individual NCAA title in uneven bars
Top 10 storylines: #9 Jakob Poeltl's emergence for the Runnin' Utes
Top 10 storylines: #10 Delon Wright wins Cousy Award