In collegiate gymnastics, no program boasts more excellence, consistency and rich tradition over a span of a quarter century than the University of Georgia. The woman behind the success is Suzanne Yoculan, who spent 26 years as the Gym Dogs coach.
From 1984-2009, she guided Georgia to an NCAA-best 10 national championships (including the last five in a row), 16 Southeastern Conference titles and 22 NCAA Regional crowns. Nineteen times, Yoculan led her team to either an SEC title, an NCAA title or both.
Yoculan's work was recognized by her peers as she was chosen as the National Coach of the Year five times (1987, 1993, 1998, 2006, 2008) and the SEC Coach of the Year eight times (1986, 1987, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009). She ended her career with a record of 836-117-7.
Yoculan produced 37 NCAA individual champions, including three-time all-around winner Courtney Kupets, and 58 Gym Dogs with 306 All-America honors.
Under Yoculan, average attendance at Georgia meets grew from less than 200 to an average of nearly 10,000. Georgia also had a significant number of meets televised nationally, regionally and statewide. Yoculan did a weekly TV show during her career and DVDs were produced on the 2005-2009 national titles.
Yoculan fostered growth and support of the Ten-0 Club, the Georgia gymnastics booster club, which is the largest in the nation with more than 800 members.
She also authored one book -- Perfect 10: The UGA Gym Dogs & The Rise Of Women's College Gymnastics In America.
An active member of the Athens community, Yoculan donated her time and energy to such entities as United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Athens Regional Medical Center's Breast Health Center and Special Olympics. She won the Atlanta Athletic Club's 2008 W.R. McGriff Award, which honors recipients who exemplify excellence in sports while demonstrating characteristics of an upstanding citizen and role model. Yoculan also was inducted into the prestigious Blue Key National Honor Society in 2008.
In 2010, Yoculan was inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.