Title: Head Coach
Experience: 31st Year
Alma Mater: Chico State, '77
With 35 years years of coaching experience at Sacramento State, Kim Hughes is synonomous with Hornet gymnastics. The veteran coach is entering his 31st season leading the program and has developed the Hornets from the Div. II ranks to create a highly-competitive team which routinely competes for a bid to the NCAA Div. I postseason.
Sacramento State’s success has not been limited to making NCAA Regional appearances. The team has won seven conference titles since 2000, including a pair of Western Athletic Conference crowns.
The streak began with back-to-back Western Independent Conference titles in 2000 and 2001 and then two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships (2002-03). After a second-place finish in 2004, the Hornets reclaimed the MPSF crown with a convincing two-point victory in 2005.
Sacramento State was then invited to join the WAC, and despite tougher competition, the team captured the first two titles in the league winning at Utah State in 2006 and at Southern Utah in 2007. Following the Hornets’ first championship, Hughes was named the West Region and WAC Coach of the Year.
The following year, the Hornets missed their third consecutive WAC title but still managed to qualify for the NCAA Regionals for the third season in a row. In 2009, the team hosted the WAC meet for the first time in school history and responded with a second-place finish.
Individually, the Hornets have advanced 33 gymnasts to the NCAA Regionals since 1994. That list includes three in 2010, 2009 and 2005, and four in 2004. Hughes also coached Terri Meyer to the NCAA Div. II beam title in 1984, Rebecca Seebirt to three USAG vault titles (1994, 1995, 1997), Natalie Cadondon to the USAG all-around title in 1995 and Toni Petersen to the 2000 floor crown in the NIT. In addition, the Hornets have earned 40 All-America honors during his tenure.
In the classroom, the gymnastics team has also flourished under Hughes. In the spring of 2010, the squad had a 3.27 team GPA. That total included 16 student-athletes who were above a 3.0 and 12 who posted better than a 3.5.
His knowledge of the sport, coupled with his enthusiasm for teaching, has presented numerous opportunities for Hughes to coach at varying levels of competition.
A 1976 graduate of Chico State with a B.A. in physical education, Hughes competed collegiately for the Wildcats after a successful high school gymnastics career. He was the Northern California high school still rings champion as a senior in 1971. He joined the Hornet staff as an assistant to the women’s gymnastics program in 1978 and was named head coach in 1982.
During his collegiate coaching career, Hughes served as a member of the Western Regional Committee while acting as the Western Regional meet director in 1987. When the Hornets were a member of the Northern California Athletic Conference, Hughes served as commissioner of gymnastics from 1982-84 and was named conference coach of the year in 1984.
With Sacramento State’s move to Div. I in 1991-92 and the NCAA’s decision to drop a Div. II championship, Hughes worked to provide postseason competition opportunities for smaller collegiate gymnastics programs. He has twice served as Western Region chairperson for the USAG where he was involved with developing the USAG collegiate championship into a viable national competition open to men’s and women’s varsity and club programs which qualify in a format similar to the NCAA selection.
An active community leader, Hughes is involved with the United Way, serving as the athletics department representative on the campus committee for seven years. He was a co-sponsor of the Special Olympics gymnastics competition held at Sacramento State from 1985-87. He also has been the athletics department’s union representative since 1993.
In the spring of 2007, Hughes earned the Distinguished Faculty Award at Sacramento State. That award is presented to just one faculty member each year and requires a nomination from a peer.
Hughes rounds out his coaching resumé with various club appointments, including nearly 20 years with the Nor-Cal Gymnastics Camp in Santa Cruz, Calif. He has also worked for the River City Gymnastics Club in Sacramento as well as the Chico and El Dorado Hills Gymnastics Clubs.
Hughes holds a master’s degree in physical education from Sacramento State. He and his wife, Darla, have two sons, 27-year-old Jonathan and 25-year old Jordan.
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