March 18, 2000
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Terry Casperson completed her third season as head coach of the Western Michigan University gymnastics team by earning Mid-American Conference "Coach of the Year" honors at the MAC Championships, held Saturday (Match 18) at Eastern Michigan University.
Casperson's Broncos finished the regular season with an overall record of 10-6 and tied with Ball State and Kent for the second-best regular season mark in MAC competition at 4-2. The Broncos set several team records in 2000 and had their best MAC finish in more than a decade.
Also at the MAC Championships, senior Lori Gerhardt was voted to the All-MAC Second Team. At the conference championships, Gerhardt was the top finisher for the Broncos in the floor, beam and bar competitions. She was fifth overall in the floor competition with a score of 9.850, scored a 9.775 for 12th place on the beam, and a 9.675 on the bar, also good for 12th place overall.
Other top finishers for WMU at the MAC championships included Jennifer Gleissner, 14th in the All-Around with a 37.725; and Amy Kinsey, fourth place in the vault with a score of 9.825.
The Broncos finished fourth as a team at the MAC Championships with a score of 193.100. WMU narrowly missed a third-place finish by one-tenth of one point against perennial power Kent (193.200). Defending champion Central Michigan again captured the league title (195.575) and Ball State was second (195.250).
Casperson served as interim coach for the Broncos in 1998 and was appointed to the full-time post in 1999. She has been involved in the gymnastics community for more than 20 years as a competitor, coach and judge.
In her first season as the regular head coach (1999), Casperson's Broncos either broke or tied five individual school records. The squad's team score of 191.075 against Iowa and Winona State was the second-highest total in school history at that point.
Casperson (formerly Terry Specht) lettered as a varsity gymnast (1987-88) at WMU under then-head coach Kathy Beauregard (now WMU director of athletics) and received a degree in exercise science and physiology in 1990. She was an all-arounder on WMU's 1987 MAC championship team. Before transferring to Western Michigan, Casperson competed for Northern Illinois University and finished third on the balance beam as a freshman at the 1985 MAC championships.
From 1994 to 1997, Casperson served as the women's competitive team coach for the Greater Kalamazoo World of Gymnastics Club where she developed Levels 5-10 competitors to state top 10 team and individual rankings. She also helped qualify gymnasts for regional and national competitions.
Casperson previously was the competitive team coach for the Northern Michigan Gymnastics Club in Traverse City (1990-94) and the Kalamazoo Gymnastics Center (1986-90), and was an instructor at the WMU Gym School and Gymnastics Camp (1986-88).
She holds USA-Gymnastics Level I and II certifications and has been involved in judging since 1989. She is currently a member of the state judging board and is its education coordinator.
A native of Doylestown, Pa., Casperson competed in club gymnastics at the Berks Gymnastics Academy and qualified for the Class I (Level 10) state and regional championships.
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