Jeff Graba Named Auburn Gymnastics Head Coach
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Jeff Graba
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Jeff Graba
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Aug. 9, 2010


AUBURN -- Jeff Graba (pronounced gray-ba), who has served as a gymnastics assistant at powerhouse Utah the last five seasons, has been named the head gymnastics coach at Auburn University, announced Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs on Monday.  While at Utah, Graba helped the Utes to three NCAA runner-up and one third place finish.

"I am both excited and thankful for the opportunity to coach in what I believe is one of the top athletic programs in the country," Graba said. "I am looking forward to the challenge of trying to improve on an already quality gymnastics program, and to compete in the SEC, one of the premier conferences in the country. My family and I are also thrilled to be a part of the Auburn Family, and we can't wait to get settled."

Graba, who was the 2009 West Region Assistant Coach of the Year, coached two NCAA event champions and nine All-Americans that earned 20 All-America honors during his tenure at Utah.

A 22-year coaching veteran, Graba figured prominently in the program's best span at Utah since the 1990s as he coached the bars, collaborated on the floor routines and served as recruiting coordinator.

"We are very pleased to bring someone of Jeff's caliber and experience to Auburn," Jacobs said. "He has played an instrumental role in the success that Utah has enjoyed during the last five years, and we believe Jeff can elevate the Auburn gymnastics program to new heights. We welcome Jeff and his wife, Bridget, and their five children to the Auburn Family."

In his first trip to the NCAA Championships in 2006, he coached then-freshman Kristina Baskett to Utah's first NCAA uneven bar title in seven years. He has seen a total of nine gymnasts qualify for bar finals at the NCAA Championships and his bar workers have produced five top-five finishes.

In 2006, 2007 and 2009, Utah received the highest bar score in the preliminary session of team competition at the NCAA Championships, and in 2006, the Utes also posted the best bar score in the Super Six.

Prior to his arrival at Utah, Graba spent two years as an assistant at Utah State where he helped the program in 2005 to its first Western Gymnastics Conference Championship and first regional appearance in three years. He also served as the Aggies' lead recruiter and assisted with the strength and conditioning program.

From 1995-2003, Graba was co-owner and head coach of Midwest Gymnastics Training Center in Arden Hills, Minn., where three of his gymnasts qualified Elite in his last three years with the program. Graba coached Ashley Mutchler to a first-place finish at both the 2003 American and U.S. Challenge/Classic meets in the Senior National Elite Division. Several of his club gymnasts also qualified for the Level 9 and 10 Junior Olympic National Championships.

Graba's first collegiate coaching position came from 1992-98 as an assistant women's gymnastics coach at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. He helped guide Hamline to six straight trips to the Division III National Championship and a runner-up finish in 1996. Eleven of his gymnasts combined to win 26 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association All-America awards. He also coached more than 20 scholastic All-Americans.

During part of his term at Hamline, Graba was also coaching at Flips Gymnastics Center (1988-95) in Minneapolis. He coached Level 10 gymnast Sarah Reiling-Hildebrand, who made the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Diving Teams.

From 1988-91, he also coached at both North St. Paul High School (1988-92) and White Bear Lake High School (1990-91). He was the head coach at North St. Paul High School from 1991-92.

The Forest Lake, Minn., native graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He and his wife Bridget, have five children, Bryan, Jaymie, Jason, Kyla and Shayla.

COACHING EXPERIENCE
2006-10: Utah (assistant coach)
2004-05: Utah State (assistant coach)
1995-03: Midwest Gymnastics (head coach)
1992-98: Hamline University (assistant coach)
1988-95: Flips Gymnastics (head coach)
EDUCATION
Minnesota, 1992
Bachelor's Degree (Economics)
HIGHLIGHTS
Region Assistant Coach of the Year: 2009
NCAA Individual Champions: 2
NCAA All-Americans: 9
PERSONAL
Hometown: Forest Lake, Minn.
Birth Date: Dec. 26, 1968
FAMILY
Married: Bridget
Children: Bryan, Jaymie, Jason, Kyla and Shayla.