NORMAN, Okla. The awards keep rolling in for the University of Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team, as head coach Mark Williams was named the 2005 NCAA Coach of the Year in the sport after guiding his team to the 2005 NCAA team title. The award marks the third time in his career that Williams has received the honor.
“Winning this award is just icing on the cake and caps off an amazing weekend for this program,” said Williams. “I knew it was going to be an exciting weekend and a close competition. To win this award and a third national title in four years is a great feeling. I can’t say how proud I am to be the coach of this team.
“My hat goes off to my coaching staff and all the hard work they put in to go along with all the kids’ efforts that helped make this program a contender for a national title each and every year.”
Prior to this year’s award, Williams added the honor to his resume in 2002 and 2003. In both years, the Sooners brought home the national title.
In addition, Williams was voted the 2005 MPSF Coach of the Year by his peers two weeks ago at the conference championships held in Norman. It was the fifth time that Williams collected the honor, including four consecutive seasons from 2000-2003.
The 2005 title was the third national title for the Sooners under Williams and the sixth all-time. In Williams’ first year as the head coach of the Sooners, OU finished a respectable fourth nationally. Since then, the Sooners have finished no less then second place.
Oklahoma has also captured five MPSF conference titles during Williams’ tenure. By ending the 2005 season 21-2, Williams’ career record totals 138-13, a winning percentage of .914.
OU also added a school-record 13 All-America honors and an individual NCAA Championship over the weekend. In the program’s 39 years of existence, OU has collected 141 All-America honors with 56 coming under Williams.
David Henderson’s 2005 NCAA title on the still rings, gives OU its fifth individual national champion under Williams and 18th all-time. In 2003, Williams and company picked up four individual national champions, Josh Landis on the pommel horse and floor exercise and Daniel Furney in the all-around and on the parallel bars.
Oklahoma’s six team titles is currently fourth all-time in the NCAA record book, behind Penn State (11), Illinois (9) and Nebraska (8).
ESPN2, Cox channel 28, will be showing the tape delay of the 2005 NCAA National Championship from West Point, N.Y. on Wednesday at 4 p.m. (CST).