Matthew Davis ’08, G’10, the new head coach of the men’s gymnastics team, on what makes the program special and where he sees it going.
What is it like to return to Springfield College?
I’m excited to return. Springfield College is like a second family to me. Coach (Steve) Posner did a tremendous job building the program for 35 years. He’s a big reason why it’s one of the top programs in the country. I really want to follow his footsteps and also put my touches on it.
What are your goals for the team?
We have a goal of making podium at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships. Our long-term goal is making the NCAA Championships. In the next couple of years, I think we can reach that.
We have a competitive team. Our gymnasts qualify for the NCAA Championships every year, including six last year. We have had a number of scholar All-American recipients, including nine from a season ago. We’re striving in the classroom and produced the 10th best team grade point average in the nation last year!
Something I started this year as a team philosophy is “Always Compete.” It’s written on one of our backboards in the gym. Each gymnast has a notecard, and if they agree to the philosophy, they write “I’m in” and sign their name. We’re striving to get better every day. This program is bigger than any one person. We all set those goals and help each other.
How does donor support help your program?
There are only about 20 NCAA men’s gymnastics teams so we often have to travel very far. Those funds help us get to and compete against those other programs. This year, the USA Gymnastics Championships is at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. We want to make sure our equipment is current as we put our student-athletes in the safest and best environment to excel.
When current student-athletes get to see the alumni in the stands and hear their stories and how hard they’ve worked to get the program where it is, it puts things in perspective, and helps us work harder to get to the next level.
What’s next for the program?
Right now we’re exploring the idea of making significant upgrades to Kregse Gymnasium, including the potential for a new pit. Each year, required gymnastics skills are becoming more demanding on
student-athletes. The renovation would provide facilities needed to help us build those skills in a safe manner and allow us to make the space a little more functional. The women’s team uses the same pit so they will benefit from the renovation as well.
A renovated facility is a good recruiting tool as well. It shows prospective student-athletes that we are investing in our training and making sure we have proper support for everyone.
Did you know?
Springfield College is renovating Kregse Gymnasium. If you would like to know more about this project, contact Joe Long at (413) 748-3124.