It's seems hardly a day goes bu when there isn't some news of a coaching change in the world of college athletics. We've certainly heard quite a few recently here in Utah and with some of the more premiere national programs. It's a rarity where college coaches are with a team for more than a few seasons, let alone a few decades. But such is the case with a member of the coaching staff at Southern Utah University. Scotty Bauman recently celebrated thirty years as the head coach for the SUU “Flippin' Birds.” As reported in the SUU Alumni Magazine, Bauman was recruited to the head coach position in 1991. Bauman didn't think he stood much of a chance in obtaining the job, but impressed the interviewing committee so much that later in the day, while touring the gym facilities, then SUU President Gerald Sherratt and Jack Bishop, the SUU Athletic Director at the time offered Bauman the job. Bauman was asked to start as soon as possible. After returning to Logan, Utah where Bauman had been working with Ray Corn, the gymnastics coach at Utah State University, after talking things over with Corn, Bauman announced that he would be accepting the job with SUU, and arrived in Cedar City in August on 1991. He inherited a program with talented but disenchanted gymnasts who even discouraged recruits. It took Bauman and his staff a few years to return to the level of gymnasts he inherited in 1991. But three years later they landed their first high-end recruit, Julie Talbot of Provo, Utah, a level-10 national champion on beam, extremely talented on bars, and above all, driven. The following year the program landed two more high-level recruits: Kim Nomura and Angie Gunnell. Bauman calls landing Angie, one of the best gymnasts in the country who chose a school no one ever heard of, a “recruiting coup” that forever changed the program. Thirty years and hundreds of gymnasts later, the “Flippin’ Birds” are among the nation’s most respected programs. Bauman's introduction to gymnastics began in Price, Utah. While in junior high, Bauman developed an interest in aerial skiing and wanted to learn how to execute the requisite twists and flips. He enrolled at Price Gymnastics to learn the mechanics, and began aiding in the program. Bauman’s passion for the sport still burns strong, and he loves watching his athletes grow from shy, timid individuals trying to find themselves, into strong, fierce, goal-driven women. The SUU Gymnastics team will begin 2023 competition along with 15 other teams at the inaugural Super 16 presented by Ozone at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The “Flippin' Birds” come in to the year of competition ranked as the 28th best gymnastics team in the country according to the Women's Collegiate Gymnastics Association.

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