When news broke June 14 that now-former Utah assistant coaches Garrett Griffeth and Courtney McCool Griffeth were leaving the Utes’ gymnastics program for LSU’s, it was fair to wonder how Utah coach Tom Farden would respond.

Griffeth and McCool Griffeth, after all, had been integral parts of Farden’s staff in their two years in Salt Lake City, helping Utah to the program’s best finish to a season since 2015.

Only a week after their departure, though, it appears that Utah’s gymnastics program is in good hands.

Red Rocks 2021-22 coaching staff

Head coach, Tom Farden

Assistant coach, Carly Dockendorf

Assistant coach, Jimmy Pratt

Volunteer assistant coach, Myia Hambrick

On June 15, Utah announced the hiring of former Denver assistant Jimmy Pratt as an assistant coach, and Monday morning, the Red Rocks’ staff was finalized with the announcement that former LSU great Myia Hambrick will serve as volunteer assistant coach.

Hambrick will assist in coaching floor exercise, and will also choreograph routines for the Red Rocks.

“I had the opportunity to get to know and recruit Myia many years ago,” Farden said in a statement. “She comes from a gymnastics family and her accolades speak volumes for her work ethic and talents. Since graduating from college, she has continued to grow as a professional in our sport as a judge and high level club coach.”

About those accolades: Hambrick is considered one of the best gymnasts in LSU history, having earned 20 All-America honors, the second most by any Tiger gymnast all-time.

There is a lot more to her resume:

  • Earned All-SEC honors every season of her career
  • Finished in the top 10 in LSU history in career wins on vault, floor and in the all-around
  • Totaled 52 career wins
  • 2015 SEC vault champion
  • 2016 NCAA Athens Regional all-around champion
  • 2018 NCAA Raleigh Regional all-around champion

As a senior in 2018, Hambrick was an AAI Award Finalist — the award given “to the most outstanding senior female gymnast in the country” — and was the No. 1-ranked gymnast on floor in the country, tied with former UCLA great Katelyn Ohashi.

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Since completing her competitive career, Hambrick has worked as a Junior Olympic optional coach at Georgia Elite Gymnastics. She coached gymnasts of all levels and mentored four 2019 Junior Olympic championship qualifiers, a 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier and many 2021 regional qualifiers.

In addition to her service with Georgia Elite, Hambrick has worked with optional gymnasts across the country since 2014, choreographing routines and cutting music.

The move to Salt Lake City and a return to the NCAA level, is a welcome one for Hambrick.

“I am unbelievably grateful and excited for the opportunity to coach with and learn from the incredible staff and athletes at the University of Utah,” she said in a statement. “This program exemplifies the type of excellence that I am eager to be a part of.”

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