Kuzara Returns as Assistant Coach for Women's Gymnastics
Dave Kuzara recently concluded his first year back at Michigan, serving as assistant coach on vault and floor exercise. He previously spent three years as an assistant at Michigan in 1990 and 1992-93.
In 2014, Kuzara coached Michigan to its best year on floor exercise, as his workers averaged 49.375 for the season, a new program best. Among the beneficiaries was Joanna Sampson, who followed up her national title on floor exercise from the previous year by sweeping Big Ten and NCAA Regional titles and finishing second at the NCAA Championships. That year, he coached Sampson and Nicole Artz to NCAA All-America honors. In addition, Kuzara coached his workers on floor exercise to the top two scores in program history -- 49.700 at the Big Ten Championships (March 22) and 49.650 vs. UCLA/Utah (March 7). He also coached Michigan to its second-highest season average on vault (49.298), helping Sachi Sugiyama reach the Individual Event Finals at the NCAA Championships.
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).