Tabitha Yim, the most decorated gymnast in Stanford history, has returned to the Cardinal program as an assistant coach in a hiring announced by head coach Kristen Smyth on Thursday.
"Tab is going to be a great addition to our staff and I am thrilled to have her back working with our program," Smyth said. "Tab was an outstanding leader and knows what it takes to be successful at the college level. She has the unique ability to bring out the best in everyone around her by her passion and enthusiasm for college athletics. She loved her experience at Stanford and being a part of SWG and I know she will bring a tremendous amount of positive energy to the gym."
Yim was a 14-time All-American at Stanford from 2005-08 – earning the most All-America honors in school history – and had 13 first-team selections. She placed among the top 10 in the NCAA all-around competition all four years and twice won Pacific-10 Conference and NCAA regional all-around titles.
"Kristen called me and presented me with the opportunity," Yim said. "It was one of those things that, when something comes up, you can't stop thinking about it, and everything you do reminds you of it.
Yim's versatility was her strength. She won two regional titles and one Pac-10 championship on the balance beam, was a two-time regional uneven bars champion, and twice placed third in floor exercise at the NCAA Championships.
A native of Irvine, Yim competed for the United States National Team that placed third at the 2001 World Championships. During her collegiate career, she led Stanford to two Pac-10 titles, one regional championship, and two NCAA Super Six appearances.
In her two years away, Yim followed Stanford's meets closely on-line and with former teammates, and made appearances at alumni days.
"Our '08 team is very, very close," Yim said. "Because it was so special, it stays with you your whole life, and that's what I would like to project to recruits. I've had that first-hand experience, and it just gives me a little bit more to add."
Over the past academic year, Yim was involved in Teach for America, and taught ninth-grade science at Animo Ralph Bunche Charter High School in south Los Angeles.
"I'm excited about coming back to Stanford," Yim said. "I had a great experience when I was there and definitely missed the team when I graduated. Now, I'm excited to be back with the team again."
Three Stanford grads are being inducted into the CIF San-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame this year: baseball coach Mark Marquess, Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders, and wrestler David Lee.
Marquess went to Stagg High School, where he starred in both football and baseball. He quarterbacked the only undefeated in team in Stagg history and won the 1962 Cal-Hi Sports sophomore state football player of the year.
Marquess attended Stanford from 1966-69. He starred on the Cardinal football team and was also an All-American baseball player in both 1967 and 1968. He played in the Pan American Games in 1967 and served as the head coach for Team USA three times. He won Gold with Team USA at the 1988 Olympics. In 1977, he became the head coach for the Cardinal, a job he has to this day. He won back-to-back national titles in 1987 and 1988 as well as 12 Pac-10 titles. He has over 1,300 wins and just one losing season in 34 years.
Sanders attended Oakmont High School, where she won eight Section individual championships. She achieved success in many different events and was the Cal-Hi Sports state female swimmer of the year.
Sanders won three gold medals at the 1990 Goodwill Games, before beginning her swimming career at Stanford. From 1990-92, Sanders won six individual NCAA titles and four relay championships. She was awarded NCAA Swimmer of the Year awards two years in a row and led Stanford to a national championship in 1992. Sanders won gold medals in the 200-meter butterfly and the 400-meter medley relay, as well as a silver and bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She is a member of both the International and the Stanford swimming Hall of Fames.
Lee went to Bella Vista High School, where he won three state championships (1982-82), becoming the first California wrestler to do so. Lee finished with a 170-9 high school record, including a perfect 50-0 senior campaign. He received many All-American honors.
In his two years at Stanford, Lee won his 167-lb division at the Pac-10 championships. He also set the freshman record for wins with 37, which was also briefly the single season record as well. Lee also became a two-time Big 10 champion at Wisconsin and won the NCAA championship in 1989. Lee went on to wrestle for both the junior and senior national teams. He was also honored by being inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame.