Sports

Ex-Stanford gymnastics star named head coach at Arizona

 

Stanford women's gymnastics assistant coach Tabitha Yim has accepted the head coaching position at Arizona, as announced Wednesday by Arizona's Director of Athletics Greg Byrne.

Yim spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Cardinal and is one of the most-decorated Stanford gymnasts in program history.

"The University of Arizona is getting an absolute gem in Tabitha," said Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth. "She is ready to lead her own program and will do great things at Arizona. I am thrilled for Tabby as she takes this exciting step in her career and even more excited for the student-athletes fortunate enough to work with her."

During Yim's time as an assistant coach at Stanford, she coached gymnasts in all four events and specialized in beam and floor as an elite choreographer. She led the Cardinal's recruiting efforts and played an integral role in the team's social media efforts.

Yim helped coach Stanford to its two highest teams scores at an NCAA Championships competition in program history at the 2012 Super Six (197.500) and 2015 Super Six (197.250).

"She is passionate, hard-working and committed to creating a strong student-athlete experience," said Smyth. "Arizona made a great hire. I could not be more proud of Tabitha."

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.

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.

"I've known Tabitha for 12 years and she is family so the departure is bittersweet," said Smyth. "I recruited Tabitha when she was in high school. She was a star athlete and leader at Stanford, became my trusted assistant coach, always my dear friend, and now my colleague among Pac-12 head coaches."

A native of Irvine, Yim competed for the U.S. 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.

Rowing

Stanford had a very successful trip to Lake Natoma for the WIRA Championships April 25-26 and because of the success three individuals were named to All-WIRA teams.

Junior Katherine Christel and sophomore Jackie Huddle were named to the All-WIRA first team, which included boats from the varsity eight races. Christel and Huddle helped the Cardinal win both the heat and Grand Final to stay undefeated this year, despite racing all openweight teams.

The All-WIRA second team included individuals from the JV eight, novice eight and four races. The individual chosen from Stanford was freshman Blaire Hunter, who helped the novice eight win the tough Grand Final that included a program on the rise University of San Diego.

Stanford won all three of its finals to bring home three trophies from the WIRA Championships. The Cardinal will look to continue that success on May 16 when it returns to Lake Natoma for the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships. It will be the final tuneup before the IRA National Championships May 28-31.

— Stanford Athletics

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