When Greg Marsden ex’78 retired from coaching Utah’s Red Rocks gymnastics team in 2015, he made the decision to not attend any future meets. “After starting something and running it for 40 years, it’s difficult not to have an opinion... about everything! They don’t need a backseat driver,” he says. “This is their time.”
Greg built the Utah women’s gymnastics program from the ground up starting in 1976 and retired as head coach with 10 national championships under his belt. His wife, Megan BS’84, a former star gymnast on the team and co-head coach with Greg starting in 2009, stayed on in that role for another four years after Greg retired, to ease the transition for Tom Farden, Greg’s successor as head coach.
During that time, Megan was working 12-hour days, traveling with the team, and recruiting all over the country to nurture a “team in waiting”—future Utes. Greg made it his job to support Megan in every way possible. She came home to a clean house, folded laundry, and a hot meal on the table. “He’s an all or nothing guy,” quips Megan.
Megan announced her own retirement last April after 35 years on the coaching staff and multiple regional and national awards. This February, Greg and Megan were both honored with Distinguished Service Awards as part of the U’s Founders Day celebrations (see Celebrating Our Roots on Founders Day).
Their new freedom has allowed the Marsdens to move away from the rigid schedule of gymnastics and spend more time with their two boys and new grandson. Megan can visit her parents in Iowa more often, and Greg has developed an interest in photography and video editing. Together, they relish hiking with their dogs Levi and Rocky on Salt Lake City’s east bench trails or spike-hiking with them in Park City’s Round Valley area.
"The University of Utah has done so much for us," says Greg. In addition to educating all four Marsdens, it provided an opportunity for Megan and Greg to work together at something they love. “We are forever grateful and will always be avid fans and supporters of the University of Utah and especially Utah Gymnastics. Go Utes!”