Utah gymnastics: Marsden has new, old role
Utah's Greg and Megan Marsden have always viewed their coaching of Utah's gymnastics team as a partnership. Now Megan finally has a title to show it.
Megan, a former gymnast who married Greg and joined the staff in 1985 as an assistant coach, was promoted to co-head coach in the offseason.
The move was one Greg Marsden has wanted for several years. Finally, Utah athletic director Chris Hill relented.
Hill had balked at the promotion in the past because he doesn't like using co-coaches in general. However, Megan's increased involvement in the program became too much to overlook and he finally heeded Greg's request.
"To me, it has been a partnership for 25 years," Greg Marsden said. "As time has gone on, she has accepted more and more of a burden and taken things off my plate, which has allowed me to work on other things. To me, giving her the title was making things how it should be."
As the head coach for 35 years, Greg Marsden is one of the most well-known gymnastics coaches in the country and often gets credit for the sport's popularity.
However, what many might not know are the roles Megan plays, for which Greg hopes she'll get acknowledgement with the new title.
Greg oversees the vault and tumbling and keeps an eye on the uneven bars and spends much of his time developing the team's public exposure through the Internet or other media. Megan primarily coaches the balance beam, takes care of the leap and dance requirements and handles most of the community relations.
Megan said she knew Greg wanted the promotion for her but brushed off any differences it makes to her.
"It won't change the way we operate," she said. "I still have my areas I'm in charge of and he doesn't really mess with me and let's me take care of them. But when it comes to really critical decisions, he'll be the one to make the final decision like he always has. That is fine with me."
However, the change does offer a glimpse of the demands on coaches in smaller sports. Without a massive marketing or technical department at his disposal, Greg Marsden has taken it upon himself to develop the team's public exposure through the Internet. Web sites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter take up more and more of his time. Giving Megan an equal title is important so she can take on more responsibilities to allow him to continue to devote more time to those venues, he said.
"She is much better at the community stuff than I am and I've been doing more of the online stuff," he said. "It has been a gradual thing, over the last 10 years, but the responsibilities of the program really are divided between us."
Other than seeing Megan handling more of the media demands, fans probably won't notice much of a change, Megan said.
"It's nice to have the title, but no one is going to notice a thing," she said. "Really, I don't know why we would change a thing because what we have going has been working pretty well."
Today, 7 p.m., Huntsman Center
About the meet » The Utes are 5-0 against Iowa State, which opened its season with a 193.3-173.675 win over Wisconsin-Stout. Michelle Browning is the team's top all-arounder (38.8).
Elsewhere » Utah State competes at Central Michigan tonight and in the New Hampshire Invitational on Sunday.
Year at Utah » 26th
2010 » Co-head coach
1997-2009 » Associate head coach
1985-96 » Assistant coach
» 2005 NCAA Asst. Coach of Year
» 2005 Region Asst. Coach of Year
» 2007 Region Asst. Coach of Year
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