Jepson celebrates 25 years with men's gymnastics team

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach Randy Jepson of the Penn State men's gymnastics team is celebrating his 25th anniversary of coaching the Nittany Lions this season.

In addition to being part of the coaching staff, Jepson graduated from Penn State in 1982, where he was a member of the squad and earned the position of team captain, winning All-American honors on rings.

"I've been with this university for so many years now and I couldn't image myself anywhere else," said Jepson. "It's funny I've been here so long, yet it feels like I haven't worked a day in my life-I think that's the key, if you do something you love you'll never get sick of your job."

Jepson has been able to earn National Coach of the Year in 2000, 2004 and 2007, and lead the men's gymnastic team to three national championships and three Big Ten titles.

Many boosters that have been with the program recognize Jepson for the way he preserves the honorable heritage of Penn State's gymnastics, while always finding ways to improve the program.

Jepson started his Penn State affair after transferring from the University of Oregon after the school dropped the gymnastics program.

"Ever since my first visit at this university I was overwhelmed with the positive feel and sense of community Penn State provides," said Jepson.

"When I think of Penn State, I think of family. This school provides people with such pride regardless of when you went to school here. I think it's a very powerful and unique aspect that Penn State has."

After graduation, Jepson officially joined the coaching staff in 1983, then in July 1992 he was appointed head coach.

"I'm a little seasoned now, but it's always hard to see the seniors go," said Jepson. "The best thing about coaching is watching these guys grow and mature into great gymnast but that just make's it harder to see them leave."

Jepson has groomed Olympians, Big Ten honorees and national champions.

"As a mentor, it's great to see the guys blossom into not only great gymnast but great people outside the gym," said Jepson.

"I always like to keep track of the guys whether they end up pursuing professional gymnastics or something else.  I think this sport teaches the guys a lot about hard work and dedication, even if they don't recognize it until after the program."

Jepson recognizes that although coaching is rewarding, it does come with challenges.

"Gymnastics isn't for the weak. I tell the guys all the time this sport constantly tells you that you're not good enough, it's always demanding improvement," he said.  "That also plays a role in being a gymnastics coach, I'm always trying to improve and help the guys find ways to better their routines."

Through the ups and downs, Jepson enjoys the challenges of being a gymnastics coach and strives to continue to grow the program.

Last Updated April 08, 2016