Jepson Honored as Central Region Coach of the Year
April 18, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - Penn State head coach Randy Jepson was honored as 2012 Central Region Coach of the Year at the NCAA/CGA Men's Gymnastics Awards Banquet on Wednesday evening in Norman, Okla. In addition, senior Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio) was recognized as a Nissen-Emery Award finalist.
In his 21st year as head coach and 30th 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 33 All-Americans, who earned a combined 102 honors, 16 individual NCAA title winners, 20 individual Big Ten champions, and two Nissen-Emery Award winners.
In 2012, Jepson has the Nittany Lions in prime position to make a run at the program's NCAA record 13th national title. Penn State owns the nation's two highest team scores this season, including a program-record 360.600, and is ranked No. 1 nationally in the pommel horse and still rings. Two weeks ago, two Nittany Lions, junior Scott Rosenthal (Clearfield, Pa.) (still rings) and freshman Craig Hernandez (Libertyville, Ill.) (pommel horse), were crowned Big Ten champions, marking just the third time in program history that Penn State had multiple conference title-winners in the same year.
A cornerstone of one of collegiate gymnastics' top still rings line-ups, Pineda is ranked No. 4 in the event and has recorded five top two finishes, including two title wins, thus far this season. He has also been a consistent contributor in the vault and parallel bars. As a junior, at the 2011 National Collegiate Championships, Pineda set a career high in the rings, scoring a 15.900, to place first in the national qualifier and then followed it up by a second place finish in the individual event finals, earning his first All-America honor. He also medaled in the still rings at the Big Ten Championships, placing third.
A two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar recipient and three-time CGA First Team All-American Scholar Athlete, Pineda is completing his biology degree through the Eberly College of Science at Penn State. He is among the top one-half percent of his class with a 3.98 grade point average. In 2011, he was also recognized on the Capital One Academic All-America® Men's At-Large First Team and received the prestigious NCAA Elite 88 Award at the National Collegiate Championships. Pineda was also recently announced as a recipient of the 2012 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award and Penn State's Ernest B. McCoy Award.
Second-ranked Penn State will begin its quest to capture the program's 13th national title on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET when it competes in the first and two qualifiers at the 2012 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Championships in Norman, Okla. The Nittany Lions, along with Stanford, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Iowa will compete in Session I while Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota, California, Temple, and Air Force will comprise the Session II field.
The top three teams from each qualifier will then advance to contend for the national championship at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, April 19. The individual all-around champion will also be crowned that evening. The following night, on Saturday, April 20, the individual event finals will be held at 8 p.m. ET, with six national titles and All-America honors at stake.