FORT WORTH, Texas -- The quality of college athletes produced by the state of Texas is nearly unrivaled. Gymnastics is no exception.The only difference -- there isn't a single Division I gymnastics program in the state. Not one. Division II Texas Woman’s University is the only game in town. So the abundance of talent in the Longhorn state is forced to go elsewhere.
When the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championship begins Friday in Fort Worth, plenty of that talent returns. All but two of the 12 teams competing have at least one gymnast from the state. Oklahoma, the reigning national champion, has six. In all, 29 gymnasts have ties to Texas.
“Some of the very, very best athletes that have been in the Olympics, in the NCAA championships are from the state of Texas,” Oklahoma head coach Kindler said.
“There’s just such a great wealth of talent there, wonderful coaching and amazing clubs and then just people who are interested in the sport period. “
“If you ask those athletes on their teams from the state of Texas if given an opportunity for them to stay at home would they take it and a vast majority would say, ‘Yes, I would love to compete in Texas and stay close to home,’” Georgia head coach Danna Durante said.
So this weekend as these coaches battle each other for a national title, as well as for recruits, they will also join forces. Saturday, before the Super Six competition begins, the coaches committee will host a reception for the Division I athletic directors in the state to raise awareness.
“Although we’re all competing and it would make our jobs tougher recruiting-wise, if there was a Division I team in Texas, I think every single coach would be so excited for that challenge and for that addition.”
“I think you could even have an only in-state team in Texas and still be in the same position for vying for a national championship in a short period of time,” Alabama head coach Dana Duckworth said.
“That is how much talent is in that state.”