SALT LAKE CITY — Coming off its Final Four 2021 season, the University of Utah gymnastics program added an assistant coach to the roster a day after losing a pair of coaches to LSU.
On Tuesday, Utah head coach Tom Farden announced the hiring of Jimmy Pratt, a Utah native who previously coached at All American Gymnastics in Lindon for 18 years before spending the last two seasons at Denver. Pratt will serve as the team's primary vault coach.
"Jimmy is an expert technician and has produced many top-level gymnasts," Farden said in a statement. "I have known him for over a decade. His worth ethic and enthusiasm for excellence is contagious, and we are ecstatic about him coming home and being an integral part of our program."
The news comes a day after LSU gymnastics announced that Garrett Griffeth and Courtney McCool Griffeth, former assistant coaches at Utah, had been added to their coaching staff. Farden told KSL.com Monday that the couple wanted to be closer to home — the couple earned bachelor and master's degrees from Georgia.
Farden told KSL.com that the team reached out to several people after the Griffeths left the program and that there were several "highly interested" people interested in the two coaching positions made available.
"We're pretty lucky — our position is pretty lucky," Farden said. "There's some very highly qualified people that reached out."
Utah is still in search for a choreographer, but Farden hopes to have that position hired "shortly."
With Pratt, Utah gets an experienced coach that knows the regional landscape well, especially in recruiting. Pratt coached Hunter Dula, MaKenna Merrell-Giles and Kim Tessen, who all competed with the Red Rocks over the past few years. While at Denver, Pratt served as the primary vault and floor coach, earning top 10 finishes in both events.
"My family and I are grateful and honored for the opportunity to work with Utah Gymnastics, its dedicated staff, the remarkable athletic department and to be part of the community that is the University of Utah," Pratt said in a statement. "To work with student-athletes of this caliber is any coach's dream come true and I am thrilled with the opportunity to strive alongside them in fulfilling their athletic, academic and personal aspirations."
Pratt is a graduate of BYU and started out his coaching career there as a volunteer assistant coach. While there, he helped the team on vault and bars.