Steve Shephard Resigns as Head Coach of Penn State Women's Gymnastics Program
June 16, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Steve Shephard has announced his resignation as head coach of the Penn State women's gymnastics program, effective today, to pursue other career opportunities. Penn State will immediately launch a national search for his successor.
"I have decided to retire from coaching after a 30 year career in gymnastics, to pursue other career opportunities," said Shephard. "It has been my great honor, and privilege, to work with all of the gifted young people associated with this program over the last 21 years. I would like to thank Tim Curley, and all the great people at Penn State, for providing me with the wonderful opportunity to represent this great university. I wish all of the current, and future team members at PSU nothing but the best, and I hope for a healthy, and successful future in the years ahead."
In 18 years as the head coach, Shephard, the eighth coach in Penn State women's gymnastics history, amassed a career record of 256-144-2 while guiding the Nittany Lions to eight NCAA Championship appearances. A three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, Shephard's gymnasts earned 23 All-America honors, including seven in 2010. Under Shephard's guidance, the Nittany Lions finished in the top three at the Big Ten Championship 15 times and coached 20 Big Ten Individual Champions. In addition, Shephard's gymnasts picked up six Big Ten Gymnast of the Year honors, including Brandi Personett in 2009 and 2010, and three Big Ten Freshman of the Year awards.
Shephard's teams not only excelled in the gym, but also in the classroom. Since 2001, the Nittany Lions have ranked in the top 35 in the nation academically. His gymnasts have earned 70 NACGC/W Scholar Athlete honors and he has had 122 gymnasts named Academic All-Big Ten, including nine in 2010. In his final season at the helm of the program, Personett was honored as a Second Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American.
Shephard joined the Penn State staff in 1989 as an assistant coach to former head coach Judi Avener. With Avener, Shephard earned Assistant Coach of the Year honors in the Northeast and helped the Nittany Lions to fifth and fourth place NCAA finishes and two Atlantic 10 Conference titles. Following Avener's departure in 1992, Shephard was named head coach.
"In his 18 years as head coach, Steve has embodied the values of Penn State and maintained a tradition of excellence and Success with Honor," said Tim Curley, Director of Athletics. "We appreciate all the time, effort and dedication to the program and the university that he displayed during his tenure and wish him the best as he pursues new endeavors."