Lavallee awarded five-year contract extension
May 30, 2017
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis head women's gymnastics coach John Lavallee signed a five-year contract extension, securing his position at the helm through the 2022 season, announced Director of Athletics Kevin Blue on Tuesday.
"After 11 years, I'm incredibly honored to have the opportunity to stay here at UC Davis, continue the work that UC Davis gymnastics has done, and continue to move the program forward," said Lavallee. "I'm very grateful to Dr. Kevin Blue for the opportunity to work with him for the next few years and continue making Aggie gymnastics great."
Lavallee comes off a 2017 season that saw him capture his sixth career Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year award. The Aggies led that conference with a 194.885 regional-qualifying score during the regular season, saw nine gymnasts win a total of 16 all-conference awards, and send three at-large qualifiers to the NCAA Seattle Regional.
"Our women's gymnastics program has performed at a high level under John's leadership," Dr. Blue said. "Our student-athletes have thrived academically and competitively during John's tenure, and we look forward to continued success for years to come."
Lavallee took over the Aggie program after the retirement of Ray Goldbar following the 2006 season. In his second year, UC Davis captured its first MPSF team title, then proceeded to win four consecutive from 2010 through 2013. In 2014, Lavallee achieved his next major milestone: guiding UC Davis to a team berth in the NCAA postseason. That Aggie squad posted school records of a 195.260 RQS and a No. 34 national ranking, qualifying for the Fayetteville Regional.
Outside the gym, Lavallee's Aggies have achieved in the classroom. Women's gymnastics won four Marya Welch Awards for UC Davis' highest women's team grade-point average, earned five NCAA Public Recognition Awards for Academic Progress Rate, and nine straight NACGC/W Academic Team honors. Furthermore, three of his Aggie pupils have joined him in the collegiate coaching ranks: Andi Dolinsky finished her fourth year on the Utah State staff, Tanya Ho earned 2016 MPSF Assistant Coach of the Year for her work with Causeway Classic rival Sacramento State, while two-time MPSF AC of the Year Carolyn Kampf completed her ninth year on Lavallee's staff this season.
"When I got here 10 years ago, my goal was to move the program forward. We did a very good job with that, getting to the NCAA postseason [in 2014]," said Lavallee. "To have that experience again and again is the next goal we have our sights set on, all the while maintaining the academic excellence our program has had. We want our student-athletes to go on to graduate and professional schools as well as great opportunities in the workforce. It's a real honor to be part of this program."
UC Davis ranked 42nd nationally this year and set school balance beam records for a team and individual (Katy Nogaki). Furthermore, junior Alexis Brown captured the Hubert Heitman Award winner as the school's outstanding female athlete of the year.
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