Jeff Graba is the new assistant gymnastics coach at Utah.
May 9, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY -
Jeff Graba, an assistant gymnastics coach at Utah State for the past two years and a former club coach in Minnesota, has been hired as Utah's new assistant gymnastics coach. Graba (pronounced gray-ba) replaces Aki Hummel, who left after 13 years to enter private business.
"I've been aware of Jeff's abilities as a coach for a number of years as we tried to recruit some of his former athletes," said Utah head coach Greg Marsden. "I've had a better opportunity to observe him in his position as Utah State's assistant. I have been impressed with the job he's done and have gotten to know him better. Jeff brings great experience, both as a club coach and as a college coach. He is a great teacher, can spot any skill and has done an unbelievable job with recruiting at Utah State. I am convinced that Jeff will help us make this transition as smoothly as possible."
Graba helped Utah State earn a berth in the 2005 NCAA Regional Championships--its first regional appearance in three years--and win its first Western Gymnastics Conference championship. Graba was the lead recruiter for USU and also helped oversee the team's strength and conditioning program. He assisted with the composition of routines, spotting and coaching new skills.
From 1995-2003, he was the co-owner and head coach of Midwest Gymnastics Club in Arden Hills, Minn. Three of his gymnasts qualified Elite in his last three years with the club. 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. Many of his club gymnasts qualified for the Level 9 and 10 national championships, as well.
His collegiate experience previous to his USU tenure was as an assistant women's gymnastics coach at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., from 1992-98. Highlights there included six straight trips to the Division III national championships and a runner-up finish in 1996. Eleven of his gymnasts combined to win 26 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association All-America citations. 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. There, 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 (1998-92) and White Bear Lake High School (1990-91). He was the head coach at North St. Paul High from 1991-92.
The Minneapolis native graduated from Minnesota in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in economics. He and his wife Bridget have five children: Bryan, Jaymie, Jason, Kyla and Shayla.
Graba's duties at Utah will begin on June 1.