Gymnastics coach Spini announces retirement after 2014 season

ASU gymnastics coach John Spini announced his pending retirement Tuesday morning after 34 years heading the program.

Spini will finish the 2014 season, then step down. He will end his career as the longest tenured head coach at ASU.

Spini graduated from ASU in 1976, and five years later, became the gymnastics head coach at his alma mater.

“I am so blessed and so grateful for the opportunity to coach at Arizona State,” Spini said in a press release. “I attended Arizona State and I had the privilege to do what I love for a living for the past 34 years.”

Twenty-seven Sun Devils earned All-America honors under Spini, including 10 individual national champions.

Spini said he is grateful for everyone he worked with in his time at ASU, and the memories he made with them.

Spini won Pac-10 Coach of the Year four times and led his teams to 32 postseason appearances, including 21 NCAA championship appearances.

Nine times, his team finished the top-5 nationally, including four second-place finishes. The Sun Devils won four conference championships under Spini.

However, the last time any of those feats were accomplished was a fourth-place NCAA finish in 1999. Since, ASU has finished no higher than third in its conference and missed the NCAA tournament more times (10) than it has made it (four).

Spini does have one more season ahead of him. The 2014 ASU gymnastics season begins Jan. 11, when the Sun Devils face San Jose State and Sacramento State in a home meet.


Reach the reporter at ewebeck@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @EvanWebeck