With 38 years years of coaching experience at Sacramento State,
Kim Hughes is synonomous with Hornet gymnastics. The veteran coach
is entering his 34th season leading the program and has developed
the Hornets from the Div. II ranks to create a highly-competitive
team which routinely competes for a bid to the NCAA Div. I
Sacramento State’s success has not been limited to making NCAA Regional appearances. The team has won eight conference titles since 2000, including the 2014 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation crown.
The streak began with back-to-back Western Independent Conference titles in 2000 and 2001 and then two MPSF championships (2002-03). After a second-place finish in 2004, the Hornets reclaimed the MPSF crown with a convincing two-point victory in 2005.
Sacramento State was then invited to join the WAC, and despite tougher competition, the team captured the first two titles in the league winning at Utah State in 2006 and at Southern Utah in 2007. Following the Hornets’ first championship, Hughes was named the West Region and WAC Coach of the Year.
The following year, the Hornets missed their third consecutive WAC title but still managed to qualify for the NCAA Regionals for the third season in a row. In 2009, the team hosted the WAC meet for the first time in school history and responded with a second-place finish.
Sacramento State returned to the MPSF in 2014 and picked up where it left off, winning the conference title at UC Davis. For that effort, Hughes was named the MSPF Coach of the Year.
Individually, the Hornets have advanced 45 gymnasts to the NCAA Regionals since 1994. That list includes an unprecedented seven in 2014 including Kalliah McCartney who advanced to the NCAA Championships in the all-around. Sacramento State also sent four gymnasts to the regionals in 2004 and has had three representatives five times. Hughes also coached Terri Meyer to the NCAA Div. II beam title in 1984, Rebecca Seebirt to three USAG vault titles (1994, 1995, 1997), Natalie Cadondon to the USAG all-around title in 1995 and Toni Petersen to the 2000 floor crown in the NIT. In addition, the Hornets have earned 40 All-America honors during his tenure.
In the classroom, the gymnastics team has also flourished under Hughes as the team routinely ranks among the best in the nation for overall grade point average.
His knowledge of the sport, coupled with his enthusiasm for teaching, has presented numerous opportunities for Hughes to coach at varying levels of competition.
A 1976 graduate of Chico State with a B.A. in physical education, Hughes competed collegiately for the Wildcats after a successful high school gymnastics career. He was the Northern California high school still rings champion as a senior in 1971. He joined the Hornet staff as an assistant to the women’s gymnastics program in 1978 and was named head coach in 1982.
During his collegiate coaching career, Hughes served as a member of the Western Regional Committee while acting as the Western Regional meet director in 1987. When the Hornets were a member of the Northern California Athletic Conference, Hughes served as commissioner of gymnastics from 1982-84 and was named conference coach of the year in 1984.
With Sacramento State’s move to Div. I in 1991-92 and the NCAA’s decision to drop a Div. II championship, Hughes worked to provide postseason competition opportunities for smaller collegiate gymnastics programs. He has twice served as Western Region chairperson for the USAG where he was involved with developing the USAG collegiate championship into a viable national competition open to men’s and women’s varsity and club programs which qualify in a format similar to the NCAA selection.
An active community leader, Hughes is involved with the United Way, serving as the athletics department representative on the campus committee for seven years. He was a co-sponsor of the Special Olympics gymnastics competition held at Sacramento State from 1985-87. He also has been the athletics department’s union representative since 1993.
In the spring of 2007, Hughes earned the Distinguished Faculty Award at Sacramento State. That award is presented to just one faculty member each year and requires a nomination from a peer.
Hughes rounds out his coaching resumé with various club appointments, including nearly 20 years with the Nor-Cal Gymnastics Camp in Santa Cruz, Calif. He has also worked for the River City Gymnastics Club in Sacramento as well as the Chico and El Dorado Hills Gymnastics Clubs.
Hughes holds a master’s degree in physical education from Sacramento State. He and his wife, Darla, have two sons, Jonathan and Jordan.
Sacramento State Gymnastics Team Championships
1984 - Far Western Conference
1996 - Western Independent
2000 - Western Independent
2001 - Western Independent
2002 - Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
2003 - Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
2005 - Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
2006 - Western Athletic Conference
2007 - Western Athletic Conference
2014 - Mountain Pacific Sports Federation