Beginning his ninth season as head coach of the UMass womenís gymnastics team, David Kuzara has brought a new meaning of success to the program. During his eight seasons as head coach of the Minutewomen, Kuzara has compiled a school-record 93 victories, while breaking the school record for team scoring on every event and raising the overall team mark by over five points from 189.650 to the current school record of 194.915.
Kuzara led UMass to back-to-back Atlantic 10 Championships in 1996 and 1997 and has taken the Minutewomen to the NCAA Northeast Regional in seven of the last eight years. Last season, Kuzara surpassed Virginia Evans to become the winningest coach in UMass history.
Last year, Kuzara guided UMass to an 11-7 record and a second-place finish at the Atlantic 10 Championships. The Minutewomen earned their seventh NCAA berth after a one- year absence.
Kuzara won his first league title in 1996 and earned Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honors. UMass posted a 9-4 record and finished third at the NCAA Northeast Regional after entering the competition as the fifth seed.
Kuzara led the Minutewomen to their second Atlantic 10 title in 1997, when UMass registered a 11-4 record and a fourth-place finish at NCAA regional competition. In 1998, the Minutewomen fell short at the Atlantic 10 Championship to George Washington, finishing the season at 11-6 and ranking fourth at NCAA regionals.
In his first two seasons, Kuzara led the Minutewomen to two third-place finishes at the Atlantic 10 Championship, qualifying for the NCAA Northeast Regional both years. The Minutewomen recorded the second most wins in UMass history with their 17-6 record in 1994 and posted upset victories against Penn State and West Virginia in 1995. Prior to Kuzaraís arrival, only one UMass gymnast had qualified for the NCAA Championship, but in the last eight seasons under his direction, three gymnasts have qualified for the NCAAs (J.J. Tolhurst, Jill Fisher and Mandy Mosby).
Kuzara came to UMass after serving a three-year stint (1990, 1992 and 1993) as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan on Beverly Plockiís staff. A 1980 graduate of Michigan, Kuzara helped establish the Wolverine womenís gymnastics program among the nationís elite. During his short stint in Ann Arbor, Kuzara helped guide Michigan to two Big Ten titles in 1992 and 1993 and a ninth-place finish at the 1993 NCAA Championship, the best ever national finish in Wolverine womenís gymnastics history at the time. He also helped in the development of Michiganís first ever NCAA individual champion in 1993, when Beth Wymer won the uneven bars competition.
In 1992, he was named the NCAA Central Region Co-Assistant Coach of the Year after leading Michigan to a second-place finish at the NCAA Central Region Championship.
A former All-America gymnast, Kuzara coached 13 years in private gymnastics clubs before joining the Michigan staff. During that time, he trained gymnasts for competition at the United States Gymnastics Federation National Championship.
Year W L Pct. Accomplishments 1994 17 6 .739 NCAA Regional 1995 14 12 .538 NCAA Regional 1996 9 4 .692 A-10 Champs/NCAA Regional 1997 11 4 .733 A-10 Champs/NCAA Regional 1998 11 6 .647 NCAA Regional 1999 11 7 .611 NCAA Regional 2000 9 9 .500 2001 11 7 .611 NCAA Regional TOTALS 93 55 .628 Seven NCAA Regionals