Consistent performances were overshadowed by a downturn last year, but overall the women's gymnastics program is on solid footing. It beat women's volleyball by five points in our polling, and as we'll see over the next two weeks, came close to knocking out a marquee sport.
On the mats, WVU routinely defeats many regional foes and flirts with top 25 rankings, but has never been able to get past the perennial contenders for national honors. Of course, that's true for most schools in the country, and is in no way a mark of dishonor for this steady program.
Greg Hunter: (8th) In its third season under head coach Jason Butts, WVU failed to make it to the NCAA Regionals for the first time in nine years. It’s been nearly 20 years since All-Americans like LaJaunda Moody and Kristin Quackenbush led West Virginia to the upper echelon of women’s gymnastics, and while the facilities and commitment remain strong, finding success in a powerhouse league like the Big 12, where WVU is now 1-7 in its two seasons, is not a simple matter. There are only three women’s gymnastics programs in the Big 12 but Iowa State is a top 25 team, and Oklahoma finished in a tie with Florida for the NCAA championship this season, so what the league lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality.
Matt Keller: (10th) A drop in results since joining the Big 12 has the program on a bit of a downward trend, but the team still qualified an individual for NCAA finals competition.
Michael Carvelli: (8th) With the exception of a tough 2014 campaign, WVU gymnastics has usually been in or around the top 25 for most of the last five seasons. Jason Butts has done a good job of continuing the success that Linda Burdette-Good set up for the program, and there are plenty of good gymnasts for the program to continue to build with over the next few years. This could be a big year for the program as it looks to take that step up.
Kevin Kinder: (7th) The gymnastics squad did suffer a bit of a downturn this past spring, but that's not nearly enough to downgrade the progam much. A perennial regional qualifier that routinely qualifies performers to the NCAA Championships, this program is the very definition of solid. It might not have the talent to make a splash as a team at nationals, but its performance over the past few years, along with new enthusiasm from another young coach and very good facilities puts it well within the upper half of my ratings.
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