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Coaches Corner – What They’re Saying Heading Into The 2022 NCAA Championships

The stage is set for an epic battle at the 2022 NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. After three thrilling days of competition at the NCAA Regional Championships, eight teams punched their tickets to Forth Worth and are one step closer to the ultimate prize. 

Here’s what the head coaches of those eight teams had to say about their teams mindset one week out. 

University of Oklahoma 

NCAA Championship Appearances: 20

NCAA Titles: 4 (2014, 2016, 2017, 2019) 

“We are excited and honored to represent the University of Oklahoma at this year’s NCAA Championship. The opportunity to compete on the largest stage for NCAA women’s gymnastics is one we do not take for granted. Everyone on this team has a specific role. Whatever your role is, whether it’s a bars specialist or a three-event athlete or to train the All-Around and be ready to go if you’re called upon, they have embraced their roles. Everyone’s hitting on all cylinders, and we’re in a really good place as we head into the final weekend of competition. We look forward to another exciting NCAA Championship in Fort Worth. Boomer!” -K.J. Kindler 

University of Florida 

NCAA Championship Appearances: 37

NCAA Titles: 3 (2013, 2014, 2015) 

“The goal in focus throughout this season was to get to Fort Worth to have that championship opportunity. And we’re going to continue to take it day by day. The Gators have really built a fabulous foundation. We look forward to getting back in the gym and keep trying to get a little bit better. We’ve got more in the tank.” -Jenny Rowland

University of Michigan 

NCAA Championship Appearances: 24

NCAA Titles: 1 (2021) 

“With every year that goes by and the parity of our teams across the country now, it is even that much more exciting and impressive to me when we are fortunate enough to win a regional and qualify for the NCAA Championships. The field has gotten so incredibly good. I am really excited about our team this year and our advancement to the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth. The goal was to be back on the floor at Dickies Arena and have an opportunity to compete for a championship, so I am just thrilled that we will get to do that.” -Bev Plocki 

University of Utah 

NCAA Championship Appearances: 38

NCAA Titles: 9 (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995) 

“This season has been filled with many challenges and we are especially proud of how the group came together. They have demonstrated the highest levels of a collective vision, determination and teamwork. With the density of talent added on many rosters, coupled with the increase of talented teams this year, this honor is something we don’t take for granted and we are anxiously awaiting the championships.” -Tom Farden 

University of Alabama 

NCAA Championship Appearances: 37

NCAA Titles: 6 (1988, 1991, 1996, 2002, 2011, 2012) 

“All season this team has been about intensity, passion and heart. They do their best when they are free, fierce and have fun and that is why we’ve enjoyed so much success. As a group these ladies have been grateful and excited because they get to compete week-in and week-out with one another in a sport they love. We are humble but hungry and have a unique bond. As we had to Ft. Worth as one team with one heartbeat and a unified goal, I believe in their resilience and that they will fight to the very end with everything they have.” -Dana Duckworth 

Auburn University

NCAA Championship Appearances: 5

NCAA Titles: 0

“This has been such a challenging and yet an exciting experience for our team. After missing the postseason the last two years, it is only more rewarding to qualify to Fort Worth this year. This Auburn team has shown resiliency and poise throughout a very demanding schedule and has overcome real adversity on this quest to the NCAA Championship. I am so very proud of this young team and am looking forward to sharing in the experience with them” -Jeff Graba 

University of Minnesota 

NCAA Championship Appearances: 5

NCAA Titles: 0

“We are absolutely thrilled to be going back to the National Championships for the second straight year and for the opportunity to compete against the best in the country on the biggest stage in collegiate gymnastics. We have been there before, but never in back-to-back years and that was the goal. Back for More was our motto and we are Back for More and we can’t wait to do it again. This is such a wonderful group and it means so much to them to get back to nationals. We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to compete together one final time.” -Jenny Hansen 

University of Missouri 

NCAA Championship Appearances: 1

NCAA Titles: 0

“Advancing to the NCAA Championships is so much more difficult since 2019, when the format changed from 12 team that qualify to 8 teams.  For this team to accomplish that task, it is amazing and so rewarding to everyone who has supported us along the way.  We have dreamt of that moment in the Regional Final for so long and it finally came to fruition!  We truly felt we had the talent, leadership and commitment to be excellent this year.  We obviously have built a successful team this season, but more importantly we have created a fierce program!  As I am reflecting on an epic season, there are so many wonderful moments and memories I have and certain our ladies do as well.” -Shannon Welker 

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics. Photo of Jordan Bowers by Matthew Smith/OU Athletic Communications 

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