Former Ute gymnast Shannon Bowles and her husband, former Ute basketball player Michael Doleac, now of the NBA Miami Heat, spend their summers living in Utah.

Shannon visited several times this summer with Utah gymnastics coach Greg Marsden, and eventually talk got around to Marsden hiring (Bowles) Doleac as the team's new nutritionist. The official announcement came Monday.

The nine-time All-American (1998-2002) and former member of the U.S. national team earned a master's in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism from Tufts University in 2005. She also holds two bachelor's degrees from Utah in exercise and sport science and psychology and is a certified strength and conditioning coach. She has freelanced as a personal trainer and nutrition consultant and was a volunteer nutritionist for the University of New Hampshire gym team (she's from Lee, N.H.).

Marsden said his former nutritionist became "extremely busy" with a private practice, so he needed someone new, and he began talking with Bowles about the position.

"It's a great resolution," Marsden said, happy to add "someone who loves the program" to the staff.

Doleac lives in Miami during the NBA season, but when Michael is on the road with the Heat, she often returns to Utah, and she will be available by phone, e-mail, instant and text messaging while in Miami.

"It's not like we use a nutritionist on a daily basis," Marsden said, adding that if a serious matter such as an eating disorder crops up, it would be handled as usual by the university medical community and athletic department staff that deals with such things. "We're not working outside the system," Marsden said.

Doleac will work with the gymnasts for the next six weeks or so — school started Monday — setting up their nutrition programs.

NEW EQUIPMENT: A large donation from Zeke and Catherine Dumke, for whom Utah's gymnastics training center is named, and smaller donations from others, including alumni, have allowed the Utes to replace nearly all the gymnastics equipment in the Dumke Center.

Everything but the vault tables — they're relatively new because of the change from a vaulting horse to a table a few years ago — is being replaced this week.

Marsden said the equipment in the gym was eight years old, as is the gym itself, and things begin breaking down in that amount of time, especially the mats and foam, so the change is needed. Meet equipment will be the same as used for the 2007 NCAA Championships, which were at Utah in April.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com