Kuzara Returns as Assistant Coach for Women's Gymnastics
Dave Kuzara recently concluded his fifth year at Michigan, serving as assistant coach on vault and floor exercise. This is his second stint with the Wolverines; he re-joined the staff prior to the 2014 season after previously serving as an assistant coach from 1991-93.
Under Kuzara's guidance, Michigan has put up two of the program's top three single-season scoring averages on both vault and floor exercise. Among the beneficiaries of Kuzara's coaching was Joanna Sampson, who, in 2014, followed up her national title on floor exercise from the year before by sweeping Big Ten and NCAA Regional titles and finishing runner-up at the NCAA Championships. Earlier that year, Kuzara's floor exercise workers put up the program's top two scores in history (49.700 at the Big Ten Championships; 49.650 vs. UCLA/Utah). In 2015, Kuzara coached Sachi Sugiyama and Talia Chiarelli to a share of the Big Ten title on floor exercise and to NCAA All-America first team honors, each tying for seventh on the event at the NCAA Championships. Sugiyama also shared for the NCAA Columbus Regional title on vault. In just two years, Kuzara has mentored five NCAA All-Americans (four on floor exercise, one on vault). For his efforts, he was named 2015 NCAA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with fellow assistant coach, Scott Sherman.
Kuzara has 20-plus years of collegiate coaching experience. Prior to his return, Kuzara spent four years as head coach at Western Michigan (2010-13). He was also head coach at the University of Massachusetts (1993-2002) and an assistant coach at West Virginia (2003-06) and Arkansas (2007-09).
In his four years at Western Michigan, Kuzara built a team that finished in the top three of the Mid-American Conference Championships on three occasions, finishing third in 2011 and 2012, and winning the title in 2013. It was the first time since the mid-1980s that the Broncos placed in the top three for three consecutive years. For his efforts, Kuzara was named the 2011 MAC Coach of the Year. He boasted one of the nation's strongest teams academically with a 3.829 GPA last season.
He held assistant coaching stints at West Virginia (2003-06) and Arkansas (2007-09) in between his two head coaching positions. Kuzara assisted the Razorbacks to three top 15 showings at the NCAA Championships, including the school's first Super Six appearance in school history during the 2009 season. He had three gymnasts earn All-America honors on floor exercise, the event that Kuzara was responsible for coaching. At West Virginia, Kuzara helped the team win the 2004 EAGL championship.
Kuzara developed the University of Massachusetts into a consistent competitor nationally after leaving Michigan in 1993. He led the program to a pair of Atlantic 10 team titles -- 1996 and 1997 -- the program's first championships in history. A three-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, Kuzara had 35 gymnastics earn NACGC/W Scholastic All-America honors during his career. He posted a 100-68 record at UMass, with the team qualifying for the NCAA Regional Championship during nine of his 10 seasons.
He graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a bachelor of arts in psychology (1980).