Gymcats Rock Old Main, Meet Their Coach Tabitha Yim and The Seniors

1 of 5

Arizona’s gymnastics coach and former Stanford Cardinal Tabitha Yim and seniors take a break from practice to answer Zona Zealots questions about their upcoming season.

It’s Tabitha Yim’s first year as the Wildcats’ head coach for gymnastics. But even at only 29 years old, she’s already gotten a lot of experience with the sport and with coaching.

Here’s a few things you should know about her:

  • Originally from Irvine, California
  • 14-time All-American at Stanford
  • Spent 2 years teaching after her college gymnastics career
  • Returned to gymnastics as the assistant coach at Stanford for 5 years

Tabitha was kind enough to answer a few questions so let’s get to know one of Arizona’s newest coaches!

What would you say your coaching style is?

I had an incredible college experience and learned a lot from my coaches at Stanford. I was fortunate to learn many life skills beyond the sport and really value being able to pass those on as a head coach. I love being able to give my athletes the confidence to transfer skills they learn in the gym to their passions and dreams outside of the sport. I value the family aspect and atmosphere in college athletics and hope to provide my athletes with life long memories, skills, and relationships.

More from Wildcats Gymnastics

At what age did you begin gymnastics and who/what was it that first got you into it and made you want to stick with it?

I started gymnastics at the age of 3. My mom wanted me to learn ballet, but I was too young so she put me in gymnastics with my brother. I loved being able to flip and enjoyed the constant challenge in the gym. I made the decision to seriously pursue the sport when I moved to Charter Oak Gliders with Beth and Steve Rybacki. I expressed my desire to make an Olympic team, and they challenged me to fully commit to my dream in every aspect of my life.

Any goals you have for the team this year?

Our goal is to be the hardest working staff and team in the nation! We are excited to build off the wonderful history started here by Coach Gault, Coach Ryden, and all the incredible GymCat alumni. We are motivated to peak mentally, physically, and emotionally at the end of year and cannot wait to get started!

After you graduated from college, did you think you would return to the sport to coach? Why did you decide to coach?

I never thought I would be a coach and was quite happy teaching 9th grade science with Teach for America – it’s a program that dedicates service to underprivileged communities. I was extremely surprised to receive a call from my former Stanford head coach, Kristen Smyth, asking me to come back to my alma mater. The opportunity was too exciting to ignore so I returned to Stanford as an assistant coach.

Besides gymnastics, what are some of your other interests?

My brother, Jonathan, is the head video coordinator for the Portland Trailblazers, and I love supporting him and watching the team whenever I can. He has always been an inspiration to me, and I’m so grateful to have him as a mentor, role model, and brother.

Outside of the gym, I like staying active and love all different types of dance – modern, contemporary, hip hop. I’m also looking forward to exploring some of the beautiful hikes here in Tucson. If I’m not at work, hiking, or dancing, I can usually be found in a movie theater or on my couch enjoying popcorn, sour patch kids, and a good movie.

Tabitha got me in touch with the seniors she’ll be coaching this year so that I could get a glimpse of what’s been going on this summer as well as their goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. I was excited to hear what they had to say and was definitely not disappointed. All the girls had great responses to the (many) questions I had for them.

Before we go any further, Coach Yim’s season ticket promo video is a hilarious and fun music video of the gymnastics team teaching and featuring Coach Rich Rodriguez, Coach Matt Dudek and two new players Paul Magloire and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles dance moves!

We already are feeling Coach Yim’s genius stamp from Arizona Gymcats on the Arizona Athletics program, and it’s going to be a fun ride! This is classic! In just one day, this video has already become extremely popular with over 100,000+ views on YouTube. Take a look!

Now let’s take a look at the first senior, Danielle Buchanan.

Next: Danielle Buchanan is Fired Up