June 16, 2014
EAST LANSING, Michigan - Michigan State gymnastics announced the addition of Mike Rowe to the coaching staff on Monday. Rowe rounds out the staff joining head coach Kathie Klages and assistant coach Nicole Curler.
"We're very excited to welcome Mike back to Michigan State University," said Klages. "He is so excited to get started at his alma mater and so proud to be coming home. We can't wait to get started. I really appreciate his enthusiasm and excitement for the position."
Rowe received his bachelors of science in landscape architecture from MSU in 1985 and was a member of the cheer squad.
"I'm very excited," said Rowe. "I'm an alum; so this is kind of a dream come true. My family is back in Michigan. My niece is a pole vaulter who's going to be a senior this year. The fact that I'll be there for her senior year is just the cherry on top."
Rowe comes to MSU from the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as assistant coach with primary focus on the uneven bars and recruiting coordinator for the past nine years. While there, he was a two-time Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year and coached two East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) bar champions, three EAGL Rookies of the Year and numerous NCAA Regional Qualifier on bars.
"Mike has done an outstanding job with recruiting at the University of Pittsburgh, so we're excited to bring that energy and enthusiasm for that area to MSU," added Klages, "We believe that with this being his alma mater and having been here first-hand, he'll have a lot to bring to the table in terms of discussing Michigan State in a positive light. We're very excited. Mike's had nine years of experience at the University of Pittsburgh and we feel he'll bring a wealth of knowledge with him to the program."
Rowe looks forward to joining Michigan State in a growing and highly competitive conference environment.
"Knowing the national prominence and competitive tradition, all of that rolled into one, just made the picture just that much more attractive," said Rowe. "That was exciting for me to think that I could be a part of that. That will make me feel like I've come full circle.
"I'm extremely passionate about the sport and extremely competitive. I'm a very cooperative kind of coach. I like to work with the staff and with the athletes to find out what we can do to make them successful. We want to grow the program and raise the bar moving forward, especially now that the Big Ten has increased in size. I'm looking forward to seeing where my place will be and how I can contribute."
During his time in Michigan, Rowe also served as head compulsory coach, optional team coach and choreographer at Geddert's Twistars-USA. He helped qualify all but one gymnast to the 2005 Junior Olympic National Championships, continually produced national champions. Rowe received accolades as 2005 Michigan Compulsory Coach of the Year and was a member of the 2002 Region Five Coaching Staff of the Year. Additionally, he served as a clinician for the Region Five Mini-Congress, Michigan State Congress and other state and regional camps. Prior to MSU, he was a gymnast at Western Michigan and in high school.
In addition to his coaching career, he performed as a professional dancer from 1985-97 in New York City, national and international tours, and commercial and music video performances and in 2013, Rowe received his masters in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University.
Rowe would also like to thank the athletic department for their consideration in the decision to hire him.
"I would like to personally thank Kathie Klages, Deputy Athletic Director Greg Ianni and the entire selection committee for providing me this amazing opportunity to return to my alma mater. I am looking forward to assisting Kathie and Nicole in mentoring and challenging this team, academically and athletically, to excel in the Spartan tradition of national prominence as we know it. The members of the team that I had the pleasure of observing and meeting peaked my enthusiasm for needing to be a part of this program."