YPSILANTI, MICH.-- University of New Hampshire head women's gymnastics coach Gail Goodspeed was named NCAA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year on Friday night at the event team banquet held at the Eagle Crest Marriott hotel in Ypsilanti, Mich.
This marks the fourth time during her career that she has been named NCAA Regional Coach of the Year. She was also honored in 2001, 1994 and 1991. It was the second such award this season for Goodspeed, who was also selected East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Coach of the Year for her outstanding efforts in hosting the championship event and leading her team to a record-breaking, first-ever, first-place finish at the meet on March 29. What makes the accomplishments of this team even more amazing is the fact that many of UNH's key contributors this season are underclassmen.
UNH's first-place team score of 196.750 was not only good enough to win it all, but was the UNH all-time school record for a team score and most importantly the all-time highest in EAGL meet history. UNH has topped its all-time best team score three times this season and will have another chance this weekend when the team competes in the NCAA Northeast Regionals on Saturday (April 12) starting at 6 p.m. in Crisler Arena on the University of Michigan campus.
The Wildcats enter the weekend ranked 28th in the nation and will face some stiff competition in the six-team meet. Only the top two finishers in the meet will move on to compete in the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship on April 24-26 at the University of Nebraska.
Leading the way is Arizona State, a team ranked third overall and an average score of 197.048. The team is 10-4 on the season.
UNH will also look to defeat another top 10 sqaud in host University of Michigan. The Wolverines are ranked 10th in the nation with a record of 17-6.
Ranked 15th in the country is Iowa State, which arrives in Ann Arbor sporting a record of 6-11.
The Wildcats are the next highest ranked squad in the 28th spot and the 'Cats check in with a 21-7 overall record ona the campaign.
No. 30 Penn State, which is one of the Wildcats' biggest rivals, is the fith-highest ranked squad in the meet with a 14-10 record.
Pittsburgh rounds out the field ranked 41 in among NCAA squads and owns a record of 7-19.
Goodspeed is in the midst of her 24th season at the helm of the Wildcat squad and has led her team to an NCAA Regional competition every year since the 1982 season. UNH's best-ever performance in an NCAA Regional took place back in 1994 when the Wildcats took first place and went on to compete in the NCAA National Championship meet. UNH finished 12th in the nation that year.
The long-time UNH head coach will be making her 22nd appearance in NCAA competition and has built an impressive 284-142 record during her successful career in Durham.
Also honored at the banquet were UNH's coaching staff, which consists of Ed Datti and Beth Aparo, they were named Northeast Regional Assistant Coaches of the Year. UNH Events Coordinator Carrie Kimball was recognized as the NCAA Northeast Regional Administrator of the Year in recognition of her fine work coordinating UNH home meets, including the EAGL championship meet, which was hosted by the UNH Athletic Dept.