Now in his 19th season at Michigan, Scott Sherman is widely considered to be one of the nation’s finest assistant coaches, especially on uneven bars. He was named NCAA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008 and is a three-time NCAA Regional Coach of the Year (1997, 2010, 2015). His uneven bars workers own the 10 highest single-season scoring averages on that apparatus in program history, including three of the top four averages in 2013 (49.257, second), 2014 (49.250, fourth) and 2015 (49.251, third).
Individually, Sherman has coached two gymnasts to national championships: Elise Ray in 2004 (uneven bars) and Kylee Botterman in 2011 (all-around). At the Big Ten level, he has coached the Big Ten uneven bars champion in 11 of his 19 seasons, including each of the past two seasons (Joanna Sampson in 2014; Nicole Artz in 2015). In addition, Sherman has coached 33 of the team’s 39 NCAA All-Americans on uneven bars, including eight in the past five seasons alone (2011: Brittnee Martinez, Trish Wilson, Sarah Curtis; 2013: Katie Zurales, Joanna Sampson; 2014: Sampson, Shelby Gies, Nicole Artz).
Second-year assistant coach Dave Kuzara is in his second stint at Michigan, having previously served as an assistant coach from 1991-93. Under Kuzara’s guidance, Michigan has put up two of the program’s top three single-season scoring averages on both vault and floor exercise.
Among the beneficiaries of Kuzara’s coaching was Joanna Sampson, who, in 2014, followed up her national title on floor exercise from the year before by sweeping Big Ten and NCAA Regional titles and finishing runner-up at the NCAA Championships. Earlier that year, Kuzara’s floor exercise workers put up the program’s top two scores in history (49.700 at the Big Ten Championships; 49.650 vs. UCLA/Utah). In 2015, Kuzara coached Sachi Sugiyama and Talia Chiarelli to a share of the Big Ten title on floor exercise and to NCAA All-America first team honors, each tying for seventh on the event at the NCAA Championships. Sugiyama also shared for the NCAA Columbus Regional title on vault. In just two years, Kuzara has mentored five NCAA All-Americans (four on floor exercise, one on vault). For his efforts, he was named 2015 NCAA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with fellow assistant coach, Scott Sherman.
Kuzara has 20-plus years of collegiate coaching experience. Prior to his return, Kuzara spent four years as head coach at Western Michigan (2010-13). He was also head coach at the University of Massachusetts (1993-2002) and an assistant coach at West Virginia (2003-06) and Arkansas (2007-09).
Sarah Shire Brown
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Head coach Bev Plocki announced the addition of volunteer assistant Sarah Shire Brown to the University of Michigan women’s gymnastics coaching staff on Sept. 10, 2015.
Brown spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State. She served as the recruiting coordinator as well as the beam coach and floor choreographer. She also organized community service projects.
In 2014, Brown was named the MIC Assistant Coach of the Year after coaching gymnasts to three MIC event championships in the floor, vault and uneven bars. She also coached two MIC Freshman of the Year recipients and qualified four all-round competitors in three years. She also acted as the South Central Regional Score Verification Coordinator for two years and was named the NACGC/W secretary in 2015.
Prior to Southeast Missouri State, Brown worked at the University of Missouri for two years. In the 2011-12 season, Brown worked as the director of operations for the women’s gymnastics team while also interning in the sports psychology department. She coordinated team travel, assisted in recruiting and was the camp coordinator. She was an administrative assistant for the athletic department in 2010-11.
Previous coaching experience included working as a coach and choreographer for Flipz USA Gymnastics from 2006-12. She instructed children ages 2-18 with coordination, motor skills and basic fundamentals.
Brown received her master’s of education in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri in May 2012. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in sociology in December 2010.
As a college athlete, Brown competed with the University of Missouri and University of Utah. She was a four-time All-America selection and two-time South Central Regional and Big 12 Gymnast of the Year. She also earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2008 as well as the University of Missouri Female Athlete of the Year in 2009 and 2010.
Brown was a member of the U.S. national team from 2002-05 and placed ninth in the all-around at the 2005 USA Championships.