July 1, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's gymnastics coach Bev Plocki announced Monday (July 1) the hiring of Dave Kuzara as an assistant coach. Kuzara spent the past four seasons as the head coach at Western Michigan University.
Kuzara was an assistant coach for Plocki for three seasons (1990, '92-93) and graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a bachelor of arts in psychology (1980).
"We are so thrilled to have Dave coming back to join our staff here at Michigan," said Plocki. "Dave was an important part of helping me get the Michigan program on track and on the rise in the early 1990s. He left to become a head coach and now is coming back home to help us win that national title we have been seeking. I couldn't be happier."
"I am honored to have this opportunity to come back to the University of Michigan," said Kuzara. "Starting my college coaching career here I understand the history of the women's gymnastics program, as well as the tradition of academic success at arguably the finest academic institution in the nation."
"I was fortunate to be a part of the early years of Bev's tenure at Michigan," added Kuzara. "The values and principles that Bev put forth in the beginning set the course for Michigan women's gymnastics to be one of the elite teams in the country for more than two decades. I couldn't be more excited to get to work with Bev, Scott and a group of student-athletes whose accolades speak for themselves. I'm proud to represent the University of Michigan ... Go Blue!"
Kuzara returns to Ann Arbor with a wealth of coaching experience. He has been a head coach at Western Michigan and the University of Massachusetts and had assistant coaching posts at West Virginia University and the University of Arkansas.
Kuzara turned around the Western Michigan program after taking over as head coach in 2009. He built a team that finished in the top three of the Mid-American Conference Championships each of the past three seasons, 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. 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.
David Ablauf, Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423