March 31, 2012
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - After leading the Air Force men's gymnastics team to its third straight USA Gymnastics national title, the Falcons' staff received a pair of coaching accolades. Seventh-year head coach Kip Simons was named the USAG Varsity Head Coach of the Year, while assistant coaches Jeff Robinson and Chuck Schweiss were named the USAG Varsity Assistant Coaches of the Year.
It is the third USAG Varsity Head Coach of the Year award for Simons, who also claimed the honor in 2008 and 2010. Since taking over the program in 2005, he has guided the Falcons to three straight USAG team titles (the only such titles in program history). He has also coached one NCAA All-American (two awards), one Nissen-Emery finalist, nine USAG champions (17 titles) and 28 USAG All-Americans (57 certificates).
Robinson is in his second season as an assistant coach for Simons, while Schweiss is in his fourth. The 2012 honor marks the third consecutive years that Air Force has claimed the top assistant coaching honor from the USAG (Brett McClure/Schweiss in 2010, Robinson/Schweiss in 2011).
Several other awards, as voted on by the seven head coaches, were handed out at the conclusion of the USAG Championships on Saturday, March 31. Joining the Falcons' staff as a varsity award winner was Navy's Andrew Faulk, who earned the Outstanding Senior Gymnast award. Arizona State swept the collegiate awards, as Scott Barclay was named Head Coach of the Year, Evan Shaw and Rob Survick were honored as the Assistant Coaches of the Year, and Alex Gaudaur was named the Outstanding Senior Gymnast.
The Falcons successfully defended their national title on Friday evening, scoring a season-best 341.050, while Ben Zaiser (vault), Josh Ramos (parallel bars) and Mac Ritchie (high bar) earned individual national titles on Saturday night. In addition to the event winners, Corbin Palmer (floor exercise, parallel bars), James Okamoto (pommel horse, high bar), Nick Gaudlip (floor exercise), Greg Chaput (pommel horse), Gared Chapman (still rings) and Devin Menefee (still rings) earned USAG All-America distinction.