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U-M head coach Bev Plocki sits down in this Q&A interview (Aug. 1, 2013).
Coach Plocki after the Senior Day win over Iowa State.
Natalie Beilstein after the Senior Day win over Iowa State.
The third-ranked Wolverines close out the regular season at home on Saturday (March 16), hosting Iowa State on Senior Day at 4 p.m. inside Crisler Center.
Bev Plocki on Thursday before the home meet against Big Ten rival Penn State (Feb. 14, 2013).
Bev Plocki just wrapped up her 26th season as head coach of the University of Michigan women's gymnastics program. During her tenure, Plocki has transformed the program into a consistent national powerhouse, leading the Wolverines to 20 Big Ten championships, two Big Ten Regular Season titles, 21 NCAA Championships appearances and 10 NCAA Super Six berths.
One of the nation's top gymnastics coaches, Plocki is an 11-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, six-time NCAA Regional Coach of the Year and was the 1994 NCAA National Coach of the Year. She has led Michigan to 10 NCAA Regional titles and has guided the Wolverines to two national runner-up finishes. Under her tutelage, Michigan captured a Big Ten-record seven conference titles in a row from 1999-2005 and has won nine of the last 18 NCAA Regional crowns, while her student-athletes have secured 170 NCAA All-America honors and eight NCAA individual national titles.
Plocki inherited the program in 1990 that had finished no better than fourth at the Big Ten in the seven seasons prior to her arrival. In 1989, the year before Plocki took over, the Wolverines finished last in the Big Ten with a 2-19 overall record and were a winless 0-13 in the Big Ten. She took Michigan from a seven-win team in her first year (1990) to a 20-win team in her third year (1992), while also securing the program's second Big Ten title and second NCAA Championships appearance. She also captured the first of what would be four-straight Big Ten Coach of the Year awards in 1992, while adding the first of four NCAA Regional Coach of the Year trophies to her mantle. Michigan also celebrated its first NCAA All-American when freshman Beth Wymer finished among the nation's best in the uneven bars and in the all-around competition, earning a pair of NCAA All-America (first team) accolades. The Wolverines proceeded to rally off a then-Big Ten record six-straight conference titles over the next six years as Plocki vaulted Michigan to the top of the conference. In just three seasons, Michigan became a perennial contender for the national championship.
In 26 seasons at Michigan, Plocki has coached four U-M gymnasts -- Elise Ray, Beth Wymer, Kylee Botterman and Joanna Sampson -- to a total of eight individual national championships. Additionally, 45 of her student-athletes have combined to receive 170 NCAA All-America citations. Her gymnasts have also received a total of 138 All-Big Ten honors and won or tied for 82 Big Ten individual event titles. Plocki has coached 10 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year winners and 11 Big Ten Freshman of the Year award winners. Plocki's student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom with 152 Academic All-Big Ten honors and 87 student-athletes earning National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC) Scholastic All-America accolades. Plocki's Wolverines earned Michigan's inaugural Community Service Award in 2001, repeating in 2002, while earning the Leaders and Best Award in 2000 and 2001, given to the U-M team with the highest GPA.
In 1994, Plocki received her greatest coaching honor to date when she won the NCAA National Coach of the Year award after guiding the Wolverines to a program-best 27-1 record and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Michigan boasted six All-Americans and Wymer's second individual event title, while sweeping the Big Ten individual event titles and conference postseason awards.
Of all Plocki's All-America student-athletes, Wymer and Ray stand out as the most successful. Under Plocki's tutelage, Wymer became one of Michigan's most celebrated gymnasts, earning 13 All-America honors, three NCAA individual event titles, 14 Big Ten Conference individual titles, three Big Ten Gymnast of the Year awards, three Academic All-Big Ten honors and the 1995 Big Ten Medal of Honor. During Wymer's four years in Ann Arbor, Michigan tallied a 116-9 record, posting a 45-1 conference record. The Wolverines won four Big Ten titles, advanced to four straight NCAA Regionals and finished among the top 10 in the nation four times, including a then-program-best runner-up finish in 1995.
Despite Wymer's departure, Plocki kept the cupboard stocked with world-class student-athletes, highlighted by the addition of 2000 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic captain Elise Ray to the squad for the 2001 season. Ray won three national titles and earned a school record 14 All-America honors while with the Wolverines, picking up eight NCAA Regional individual titles, six Big Ten Conference Championships individual titles, two NCAA Regional Gymnast of the Year citations and the 2005 Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Year award. The Wolverines won 93 meets with Ray on the roster, winning the Big Ten title five years in a row, capturing three regional crowns and posting three top-5 finishes. Ray promptly won a national title in the all-around competition in her freshman campaign in 2001, helping Michigan post a third-place finish at nationals.
Plocki, a native of Butler, Pa., was a gymnast at Alabama for one season (1983)before transferring and finishing up her college career at West Virginia (1985-87), where she received her bachelor's of science degree in physical education (1987) and her master's degree in sports management and administration (1989). She is a graduate of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy (Dimension II) where she was the recipient of the Judy Sweet Spirit Award in 2007.
Plocki and her husband, Jim, have two children, Elizabeth and Tyler. They reside in Saline, Mich.
Plocki's All-Time Coaching Record
|Year||Overall||Big Ten||Big Ten
1992 Big Ten Coach of the Year
1992 NCAA Central Regional Coach of the Year
1993 Big Ten Coach of the Year
1994 Big Ten Coach of the Year
1994 NCAA Central Regional Coach of the Year
1994 National Coach of the Year
1995 Big Ten Coach of the Year
1997 NCAA Central Regional Coach of the Year
1999 Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year
2000 Big Ten Coach of the Year
2000 NCAA Region 5 Coach of the Year
2003 Big Ten Coach of the Year
2004 Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year
2008 Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year
2010 Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year
2010 NCAA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year
2013 NCAA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year
2015 Big Ten Coach of the Year
673-232-2 (.743) overall record
267-40 (.861) Big Ten record
20 Big Ten Conference titles
Two Big Ten Regular Season titles
Seven consecutive conference titles, a Big Ten record (1999-2005)
10 NCAA Regional Championships (1997, '99, 2000, '01, '03, '05, '06, '11, '13, '14)
10 NCAA Super Six appearances (1994, '95, '96, '97, '99, '00, '01, '03, '05, '11)
87 NACGC/W Scholastic All-America honors
170 NCAA All-Americans
82 Big Ten individual champions
Elise Ray - Three-time NCAA champion (2001 - All-Around, 2002 - Balance Beam, 2004 - Uneven Bars)
Beth Wymer - Three-time NCAA champion (1993-95 - Uneven Bars)
Kylee Botterman - 2011 NCAA champion (All-Around), Nine-time NCAA All-American
Joanna Sampson - 2013 NCAA champion (Floor Exercise)
16 consecutive NCAA Championships Appearances (1992-2008)
14 consecutive top two finishes at NCAA Regional Championships (1994-2008)
24 consecutive top four finishes at NCAA Regional Championships (1992-present)