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Michigan State Gymnastics: Mike Rowe wins Big Ten Coach of the Year, Skyla Schulte earns Big Ten Freshman of the Year

The Spartans finished second at the Big Ten Championships.

Michigan State head gymnastics coach Mike Rowe
Marvin Hall/The Only Colors

Michigan State gymnastics head coach Mike Rowe has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year and Michigan State gymnast Skyla Schulte has earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

The conference announced the news on Saturday during the awards ceremony at the Big Ten Championships event in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the first Big Ten Coach of the Year award for Rowe, who is now in his fifth season at the helm for Michigan State. He is the fifth MSU head coach all-time to earn the honor.

Rowe has led the Spartans to a 13-4 overall record during the 2022 season, including 6-3 in conference play. MSU currently ranks No. 12 nationally. The Spartans finished the regular season in third place in the conference.

This weekend, Michigan State finished second at the Big Ten Championships with an overall score of 197.05, only behind the No. 3-nationally-ranked Michigan Wolverines.

“It’s hard to put into words,” Rowe said about the honor, via “I rely on my staff entirely. I used to have a really hard time delegating, and now I just unload so much on them and they’re always ready to step up and do more. They’re great technicians when it comes to the sport. We just have the ultimate coaching package with Coach Nicole (Jones) and Whitney (Snowden) and Alina (Cartwright), and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It just feels like the cherry on top of a great Big Ten season.”

Under Rowe’s leadership, Michigan State set new program bests in several events this season: bars (49.500), beam (49.500) and floor (49.675). The Spartans also set the new program all-time best team score on two different occasions this year. The first time was against Illinois on Feb. 13 (197.425) and the second time was on March 5 against Western Michigan (197.575).

Also this year, Ashley Hofelich achieved the top individual score in the floor event in Michigan State gymnastics history, a 9.975, for the first time since 2003.

A program record-high six Michigan State gymnasts earned All-Big Ten honors at the conclusion of the regular season.

Schulte earned the conference’s Freshman of the Year award, and it was well-deserved. The Bolingbrook, Illinois native was also named to the All-Big Ten first-team earlier in the week.

She was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week five different times throughout the regular season. Schulte has earned career-highs of 9.950 on the bars, beam, and floor events, with a personal-best 9.900 vault score as well.

Additionally, Schulte broke the Michigan State all-around record.

“I believe Skyla has successfully acclimated to collegiate gymnastics, our changing culture, and her role within our program, and continues to crave more,” Rowe said. “All of this has played a significant part in her success, and we are so proud and excited to hear that the Big Ten coaches agree and have voted Skyla as Freshman of the Year!”

Michigan State will next compete in the NCAA Regionals from March 30 through. April 1. The Spartans will find out where the team gets placed soon, with the announcement coming during the 2022 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Selection Show on March 22 at noon.