March 7, 2010
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch (2009-10 season)
After three years at the University of Massachusetts, four years at Penn State and 31 years at Iowa Tom Dunn plans to retire June 30, 2010. The “Dean” of Hawkeye Head Coaches has no big plans for the future, but felt the time was right to pass the torch to a younger, more energetic, Head Coach. “When I started coaching in 1972 I never intended to become an “old” coach. I have always felt that coaching is a young man’s game,” said Dunn.
Since 1980, Dunn has led the Hawkeyes to 18 top-ten finishes in the NCAA Championships. Iowa’s performance in the Big Ten during Dunn’s tenure as head coach has also been exceptional. In 22 of his 29 years as Head Coach Iowa he has led his team to a top-four finish in the toughest gymnastics conference in the nation. The Hawkeyes won conference titles in 1986 and 1998, while placing second nine times under Dunn. In 1998, he was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. In 1998 and 2006 he was named College Gymnastics Association Central Region Coach of the Year. Dunn also earned Big Ten co-Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 2006 and Midwest Regional Coach of the Year honors in 1986.
Dunn has helped 33 individuals to earn 67 all-America honors and 22 gymnasts win 35 Big Ten titles. There have been 122 academic all-Big Ten selections and 76 all-America scholar athletes in his 29 seasons. Dunn’s 2000 team won the College Gymnastics Association National Academic Team Championship by nipping the College of William & Mary in team grade point average for the year 3.392 to 3.378.
Athletic standards have also been high during Dunn’s tenure. Michael Reavis became Iowa’s 12th NCAA gymnastics champion when he won the vault title in 2005. In 2000, pommel horse national champion Don Jackson and the rest of the Hawkeyes set four new school records on their way to a third place NCAA finish. Former Hawkeye, Todd Strada, was named University of Iowa Male Athlete of the Year and Big Ten Male Gymnast of the Year in 1999, and ended his collegiate career with five all-America honors. The 1998 squad recorded the fourth undefeated and untied season in school history (8-0) and won Iowa’s seventh Big Ten title. In 1995, seven-time all-American Jay Thornton became the first Hawkeye NCAA Champion since 1969 when he placed first in floor exercise. Thornton won the NCAA vault title in 1996, making him the only gymnast in Iowa history to win back-to-back national titles.
Dunn began his head-coaching career at the University of Massachusetts in 1972, where he coached the Minutemen to a 27-8 dual mark in three seasons. He left U.Mass in 1975 and returned to his alma mater, Penn State, as an assistant coach. He was named co-Coach of the Year in 1976 when the Nittany Lions won the NCAA championship. He served as an assistant at Iowa for one season (1979-80) prior to his appointment as head coach.