Jepson, Pineda Honored at NCAA/CGA Men's Gymnastics Awards Banquet
April 13, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Penn State head coach Randy Jepson and junior Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio) were the recipients of prestigious honors at the NCAA/CGA Men's Gymnastics Awards Banquet on Wednesday evening in Columbus, Ohio. Jepson was recognized with the 2011 College Gymnastics Association Honor Coach Award while Pineda earned the NCAA Elite 88 Award.
The Honor Coach Award is bestowed annually to CGA member coaches with 25 years or more of service to the sport of gymnastics. It is bears an inscription that reads, "In recognition of his service in coaching and developing gymnastics for 25 years or more. He has gained the respect of his associates in the gymnastics world by his inspiring example and accomplishments." Presenting him with the award was Bill Ballister, his coach and mentor at the University of Oregon, where Jepson competed for three years before the Ducks' program was eliminated in 1981.
In his 20th year as head coach and 29th overall on staff at Penn State, Jepson has guided the Nittany Lion program to elite status, leading his teams to three national championships and two Big Ten titles. The three-time National Coach of the Year (2000, 2004, 2007) and two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2003, 2008) has coached 29 All-Americans, who earned a combined 97 honors, 16 individual NCAA title winners, 18 individual Big Ten champions, and two Nissen-Emery Award winners.
Jepson has also been heavily involved in national team training camps, helping to prepare teams for the 1999 World Championships in China and the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. He was also selected as assistant coach for the 1999 Pan American Games team in Winnipeg, Canada. In 2006, Jepson served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the World Championships and in a meet versus France and Switzerland. In February of 2008, Jepson served as head coach of a six-man U.S. team in a dual meet versus Canada, leading the Americans to victory. Later that year, countless hours spent overseeing the training of world class gymnast and Penn State assistant coach Kevin Tan paid off for Jepson, as Tan realized a lifelong dream by earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. Jepson served as Tan's personal coach, accompanying him to Beijing, China for the 2008 Summer Games, where he captured a bronze medal in the team competition.
Pineda boasts a remarkable 3.99 grade point average in his chosen field of study, science. A two-time CGA First Team All-American Scholar Athlete and 2010 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar recipient, Pineda helped the men's gymnastics team earn the Varsity `S' Award, an honor presented to the Penn State men's and women's teams with the highest team GPA, at the recently-held 24th SAAB Annual Academic Achievement Awards Banquet.
Pineda has been key to Penn State's fortunes in 2011, particularly in helping the Nittany Lions' attain the nation's No. 2 ranking in the still rings. He totaled 11 top three finishes in the event, including three title wins. Pineda medaled in the still rings at the Big Ten Championships, placing third with a career-high score of 15.600. He has also significantly contributed in the pommel horse and parallel bars.
Fifth-ranked Penn State will begin its quest to capture the program's 13th national title on Thursday at 1 p.m. when it competes in the first and two qualifiers at the 2011 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Championships in Columbus, Ohio. The Nittany Lions, along with Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota, Air Force, and Illinois-Chicago, will compete in Session I while Stanford, California, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa will comprise the Session II field.
The top three teams from each qualifier will then advance to contend for the national championship at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 15. The individual all-around champion will also be crowned that evening. The following night, on Saturday, April 16, the individual event finals will be held at 7 p.m., with six national titles and All-America honors at stake.