LOGAN — Ray Corn, the only head gymnastics coach in Utah State's 31-year Division I history, announced his retirement Friday, citing health issues.
"I have greatly appreciated my time at Utah State. It's been an incredible 31-year ride, I'm just sad to see it come to an end," Corn said. "This is a tremendous institution, and it has been my pleasure and honor to be the Aggies' gymnastics coach. Unfortunately, the physical demands of college gymnastics have become too much. I look forward to cheering from the stands, and I wish the team and the girls nothing but the best."
Corn, whose name is synonymous with Utah State gymnastics, retires with an overall record of 442-444-2.
"I've greatly enjoyed the support of the fans and alumni, and I sincerely hope that they continue to support the program," Corn added.
This past season, Corn led the Aggies to a 6-18 overall season, finishing fifth at the Western Athletic Conference Championships. While they came up just short of qualifying to the NCAA Regional Championships as a team, missing regionals for just the fifth time in 31 years, USU sent six individuals to the regional meet.
USU Athletics Director Scott Barnes announced that a national search will be conducted to find Corn's replacement.
"We are extremely grateful for Coach Corn's many years of dedicated service as he created and maintained a tradition of success in his 31 years at Utah State, both in the gym and in the classroom," Barnes said.
As the only coach in USU's Division I gymnastics history, he led the Aggies to the postseason 26 times, including five trips to the national championships.
In 1978, Corn took a club-level Utah State gymnastics team and transformed it into an AIAW power, finishing 30-4 in his first season. The next year, the Aggies made the first of four consecutive trips to the AIAW National Championships, finishing as high as ninth in 1982.
In 1991, USU returned to the national championship meet, now under the supervision of the NCAA. In 20 of the past 23 years, USU has qualified for the NCAA regional competition.
Utah State first participated in the Big West Conference gymnastics championships in 1992, winning the title. Overall, the Aggies claimed the Big West title three times - in 1996, 1998 and 2001. USU then joined the Western Gymnastics Conference in 2002, winning the league title in 2005, prior to joining the Western Athletic Conference in 2006.
Corn was named the Midwest Regional Coach of the Year in 1991, earned Big West Co-Coach of the Year honors in 1994 and was named Big West Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2001. He also earned Coach of the Year honors in the High Country Athletic Conference in 1986, 1987 and 1988 and was named WGC Coach of the Year in 2005.
Corn coached three All-Americans, three Olympians, two World Championship competitors and had nine gymnasts qualify for the NCAA National Championships.
Since 1991, 32 gymnasts have earned academic All-America honors 50 times. USU gymnasts have also received 92 academic all-conference accolades.
For 31 years, Corn taught gymnastics and professional classes in the USU physical education department in addition to his coaching duties.
A four-year member of the University of Northern Colorado gymnastics team, Corn originally signed to wrestle for UNC.