Kudos to Kupets, indeed

   “Oledawg” expressed the opinion here yesterday that Courtney Kupets should be a blog topic.  Quoting “Oledawg”: “Kudos to Kupets!”  Agreed.

    Kupets’ Georgia gymnastics career — she helped the Gym Dogs to NCAA championships each year she competed and won an unprecedented nine NCAA individual titles along the way –  was appropriately capped yesterday  with the Honda-Broderick Cup as the nation’s Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Click here for the story.

   She became the first UGA athlete to win the award in its 33-year history. And became just the second gymnast to win it. And joined a list of winners that forms a Who’s Who of women’s sports: track-and-field’s Jackie Joyner-Kersee, soccer’s Mia Hamm, softball’s Lisa Fernandez, basketball’s Candace Parker. . . .

   That’s company in which Kupets belongs.

   Her award was presented during a ceremony at Columbia University in New York, and Suzanne Yoculan, Georgia’s retiring gymnastics coach, said hearing the fantastic credentials of this year’s other finalists put Kupets’ victory in context.

  “It’s huge,” Yoculan said by phone from New York.

  “One of the things in my mind that separated [Kupets] was returning from the Achilles tear [that ended her junior season in March 2008]. Winning four NCAA titles the year after an Achilles tear, that is what separated her.”

   It was Kupets’ second Achilles injury.

   “Someone asked her today, ‘Was it easier to come back this time because she had torn the other one?’” Yoculan said. “In her words, ‘No, it was actually harder to do it again, because I knew what it would take, knew how hard it would be.’

   “There were a lot of tough days,” Yoculan added. “It took a lot of inner strength to come back — to get her body to do what she wanted it to do. . . . It took her strong will and her tenacity to be able to return and win four national titles.”

  Kupets completed her college eligibility this year, and Yoculan officially retires at the end of the month.

  “Courtney is one athlete I never sat down with and talked about goals,” Yoculan said. “We would just talk about boys and school and clothing and stilettos. She never liked to talk about specific goals. . . . And we didn’t need to, because Courtney was always going to find a way to give you her best.

   “I’m just so honored to be here with her, especially knowing all I had to do [as her coach] was turn on the light switch and make sure she had enough rest.”

   A couple of other developments of note on Monday:

   — Ryan Hybl, former star Georgia golfer (2001-04) and more recently a UGA assistant, was named the new head men’s golf coach at Oklahoma.  He is the brother of Nate Hybl, former Oklahoma (by way of UGA) quarterback.

  –  Ashley Houts, point guard on Georgia’s women’s basketball team, was named to the U.S. team for the World University Games, which will be played next month in Belgrade, Serbia. She earlier was chosen among 14 finalists for the team, which now has been cut to 12 members.




11 comments Add your comment


June 23rd, 2009
8:54 am

Kupets absolutely deserved this award! Most athletes come back from major injury less than what they were before, but she came back equal if not better! That’s the inner strength, strong will and tenacity Yoculan is talking about, something all of the Gym Dogs have had all of these years. We’ve had a lot of great athletes and great teams at UGA, but they all need to look at Courtney Kupets, Suzanne Yoculan and the entire Gym Dog legacy as the example to follow.


June 23rd, 2009
10:00 am

Dare I say that Courtney K is our Tebow?


June 23rd, 2009
12:50 pm

mikey….please….let’s not give the gators any more than they are due.

what you should have said is that Courtney K is the Herschel Walker of women’s gymnastics.

tebow is florida’s herschel walker.

glad i could help you out there.


June 23rd, 2009
12:55 pm

I just wish I could have been one of those boys discussed. She has had one of the better athletic careers in the history of gymnastics.


June 23rd, 2009
1:32 pm

Outstanding athlelete. Damn Good Dawg! Good luck wherever life takes you.


June 23rd, 2009
1:43 pm

Copy and paste Cuz’s remark for me. Thank you for representing our school so well Courtney.


June 23rd, 2009
3:55 pm

Congrats Courtney.


June 23rd, 2009
4:24 pm

Congratulations to Courtney and to the G-Dogs.

Viewing Courtney’s list of accomplishments and awards, she should’ve been named most outstanding NCAA athlete, men’s and women’s. No one came close to matching her feats.

I will miss watching her next year, but wish the program continued success under a new coach.


June 24th, 2009
8:47 am

I’d like to give her a big hug.

Oh wait, I’m being told that she has won some kind
of award. Make that two hugs.


June 24th, 2009
7:22 pm

“Kudos” don’t even do her justice. If this accomplishment was attained by a male gymnist, what would be the flavor in UGA history? Or any other university for that matter!! As fans of athletic accomplishments, we seem to appreciate football endeavors above all and when one of our players goes down to injury we wait anxiously for his recovery and identify sensitively with his painful struggle. When he recovers and returns to full form we cheer deleriously for his sacrifice and hard work in overcoming a virtually career ending injury. Do you think Courtney received such attention when enduring the slow Phoenix-like rise from her injuries to continue to champion Georgia athletics? She went through no less pain, no less work ethic and no less determination to continue her dominance of her sport. “Kudos” don’t even begin to state what we as Dawg fans and our University owe her. All of our best goes to her family, friends, teammates and Coach Yoculan.

UGAVII- Wake up Dude! Courtney is leaving us and you have to fill the gap. START WITH A FEW ROLLOVERS AND SITTING EXERCISES before you hit the pommel horse at full speed. Don’t worry about the bars. By the looks of your face you have hit one too many of those. SIC’EM DAWGS!

Triple Dawg

June 26th, 2009
3:02 pm

Congrats Courtney! To think…she’s accomplish so much in gymnastics, maintained excellent grades, and somehow still manages to be the nicest girl you ever met. She deserves every accolade she’s ever received. Wish you the best!