Archive for the ‘Gymnastics’ Category

New gymnastics coach Danna Durante gets rich deal from UGA

ATHENS – Danna Durante’s decision to leave Cal to become Georgia’s gymnastics coach made her a wealthy woman.

According to a memorandum of understanding, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through state open records laws, Durante agreed to a financial package worth more than $1.2 million dollars to coach the Gymdogs.

Durante agreed to a six-year deal that will expire in June 2018 and guarantees her $175,000 annually in base salary. She will also receive $10,000 annually per UGA’s shoe-and-clothing endorsement and another $10,000 per year as a longevity bonus to be paid at completion of the contract. Durante also is to receive a $30,000 signing bonus and another one-time payment of $25,000 as recovery for lost revenues from her gymnastics camp at Cal.

That adds up to $1,225,000. Durante will have the opportunity to earn more money through performance bonuses, camps and outside endorsements. All of that will eventually be spelled out in a contract, which is in the …

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Updated: New UGA gymnastics coach Danna Durante ‘not intimidated’ by size of job

UPDATED WITH QUOTES FROM DURANTE, YOCULAN . . .

ATHENS – Georgia didn’t waste any time choosing a new direction for its championship-rich gymnastics program.

Durante

Durante

The Bulldogs on Wednesday announced they had tabbed Danna Durante (pronounced DAN-uh Doo-RAN-tay) as the new gymnastics coach. Her official hire comes 19 days after athletic director Greg McGarity asked for coach Jay Clark’s resignation and word of her appointment was circulated among Georgia’s gymnasts and administrators as early this past weekend.

Durante, 39, comes to Georgia from the University of California-Berkeley– aka Cal — where she was head coach for just one season. She was a longtime assistant at Nebraska and Washington before that — she was the 2007 National Assistant Coach of the Year — and was a gymnast herself at Arizona. She is considered a expert coach on balance beam, an area where the Gym Dogs have struggled in recent years.

Though she has only one year of head coaching experience, Durante …

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UPDATED: UGA gymnastics coach Jay Clark resigns after third year

Following is the (uncut) news story I filed for the newspaper on the resignation of gymnastics coach Jay Clark. You should note the comments from Gym Dogs coaching legend Suzanne Yoculan, who said “anything could happen” when asked if she’d consider coming back from retirement. You should also note that McGarity said “I don’t think so” when asked if they’d consider her a candidate. Below the story is the actual news release cirulated by UGA at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and then the comments I got from Clark and McGarity. . . .

ATHENS – Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity has often said that he judges the Bulldogs’ coaches on SEC championships and NCAA postseason performances. Georgia gymnastics coach Jay Clark on Friday felt the wrath of that philosophy as he resigned just three years after succeeding legendary coach Suzanne Yoculan.

Clark met with Athletic Director Greg McGarity Friday afternoon and tendered his resignation in person at some point during that meeting. …

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Gym Dogs still making transition to Life After Yoculan

Following a legend such as Suzanne Yoculan, who won 10 national championships, has proven difficult Georgia gymnastics coach Jay Clark. (AJC photo)

Following a legend such as Suzanne Yoculan, who won 10 national championships, has proven difficult Georgia gymnastics coach Jay Clark. (AJC photo)

Suzanne Yoculan reflects on her early years as Georgia’s gymnastics coach and laughs. She is best known today for her 10 national championships at UGA but she was known for a lot of other things when she started out in the mid-1980s.

“I used to throw shoes across the room,” Yoculan says incredulously. “I would take my shoe off and wing it across the room at a girl because I was mad at her for something. I’m not kidding. I learned a lot those first few years.”

Yoculan shared that experience to illustrate how much there is for young coaches to learn. Yoculan points out that her successor at Georgia, Jay Clark, is also a young coach and is having to learn on the job. For that reason, she said, fans need to be patient with him.

“He hasn’t taken his shoe off and thrown it across the room,” Yoculan quipped, “so …

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