SALT LAKE CITY — Utah gymnastics head coach Greg Marsden announced his retirement Monday after leading the Red Rocks on unprecedented national success for the past 40 years.
A press conference will take place Tuesday to officially announce Marsden’s retirement and introduce co-head coach Megan Marsden and current assistant coach Tom Farden, as the co-head coaches.
“I told Chris Hill, Megan and Tom Farden before the season began of my plans to retire at the end of the season,” Marsden stated in a press release from
University of Utah Athletics Department. “I asked them not to say anything because this program is not about me, it’s about our incredible student-athletes, and I wanted all the attention focused on them.
“We’ve actually been preparing for this transition for the past few years and I feel really secure in leaving this program, which has been my life for 40 years, in the hands of Megan and Tom. There is no one reason I chose to leave now. It just felt right. I still love coming to the gym every day and working with these elite student-athletes, coaches and staff, but I feel the other elements of the job are best suited for someone younger.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to spend my entire career here at Utah and to receive support unprecedented anywhere in the country from our administration and our amazing fans. I am especially grateful to Megan, my wife and partner, and to Chris Hill, my friend and mentor.”
According to the release, Marsden will retire as the winningest coach in college gymnastics history with a 1,048-208-8 record. His 10 national championships is tied for the most by any women’s gymnastics team.
Marsden was hired in the 1975-76 season as a graduate assistant. That same year he took his first team to the AIAW National Championship, where Utah finished tenth.
Marsden has never missed a national championship, with the Red Rocks qualifying for an unprecedented 40-straight years, including all 34 NCAA Championships. Utah is the only program to do so, the release states.
The Utes have advanced into the Super Six 19 times in the 23 years under the format, including this season’s runner-up finish.
Marsden’s teams have placed in the top five in the country 29 times, in the top three 23 times and in the top two 19 times. Utah gymnasts have won 25 individual national championships, including the 2015 NCAA uneven bar title by Georgia Dabritz, and 367 All-America awards.
A seven-time National Coach of the Year recipient, he along with Megan Marsden, has been voted the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the past two seasons.
The Utes won back-to-back Pac-12 Championships in 2014 and 2015. Greg and Megan Marsden were awarded the 2015 NCAA North Central Region Coach of the Year as a duo.
Megan Marsden, a former Utah NCAA champion gymnast, is in her 31st year on the Utah coaching staff. She has a 132-47-2 record in six seasons as co-head coach and was named the 2011, 2012 and 2015 NCAA Region Head Coach of the Year.
Farden is stepping in as co-head coach after five years as an assistant. The release states he has been Utah’s lead recruiter in addition to coaching the bars and assisting with floor.
Farden coached Dabritz to the 2015 NCAA uneven bar championship and a runner-up finish on bars in 2013.
He has 18 years of NCAA coaching experience, including six seasons as the head coach at Southeast Missouri State, where he compiled a 70-46 record from 2004-09 and was named the 2008 NCAA South Central Regional Coach of the Year.
“While I enjoyed success as the head coach at Southeast Missouri State, I felt the only way I could reach my full potential was to learn from the best, and Greg and Megan Marsden are the best,” Farden stated in the release. “I have admired them and their program for many years and the past five years with them has been a wonderful and rewarding experience.
“I have developed a love for this program, this school and this community and I want to give back. While I will miss Greg’s guidance and support, I am excited to join Megan as the coach of the University of Utah gymnastics team. It is the best job in college gymnastics and I am grateful to Greg, Megan and Chris Hill for making my dream come true.”