2014 Acrobatics & Tumbling Media Guide
HEAD COACH • FIFTH SEASON • KENNESAW STATE, ‘98
Felecia Mulkey is in her fifth season at the helm of the program, having turned to the University of Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team into a national power and potential dynasty. Mulkey has guided the Ducks to three consecutive NCATA National Championships and a 21-meet unbeaten streak in the past three seasons. The three-time defending national champs, Oregon has posted a 27-1 record in the last three campaigns. In that span, Mulkey has guided the Ducks to 24 individual event national championships while coaching eight All-Americans and one Performer of the Year. During the 2012-13 season, Mulkey and the Ducks defeated second-seeded Quinnipiac in the NCATA finals to claim a third straight national title. The Ducks finished the season with an 8-0 record, going undefeated for a second straight season. The Ducks won an unprecedented 12 individual event National Championships, while Sarah Moreno, Tara Lubert, Nicole Erlichman and Natasha Katzaroff were named AllAmericans. Lubert was also named the 2013 Performer of the Year. During the 2011-12 campaign, Mulkey led the Ducks to the first undefeated season in NCATA history, going 11-0, capped off with Oregon’s second NCATA National Championship. In the process, Mulkey was able to tutor three NCATA All-Americans in Katzaroff, Chelsea White and Kelsey Rowell. Lubert was also named the NCATA Newcomer of the Year. In addition to the national title, Mulkey saw her team capture six individual event titles for a second straight year. Despite Oregon being awarded the No. 2 overall seed in the 2011-12 championship, Mulkey provided poise to a squad that set the NCATA record for the highest overall meet score (291.26). After only earning three perfect scores in the 2010-11 season, the Ducks more than doubled that total under Mulkey in the 2011-12 season as Oregon picked up 21 10.0’s. 2011, 2012 and 2013 NCATA National Champions
In the first season competing exclusively in the acrobatics and tumbling meet format, Mulkey delivered the inaugural National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association title to Eugene, guiding the Ducks to an impressive 8-1 record in the process. In addition to the team title, Mulkey was tabbed by her peers as the NCATA Coach of the Year. Under her tutelage, the Ducks were the highest scoring team in the country and eclipsed 283 points in five of their last six meets. She also saw her talented squad claim six individual event national titles while junior Chelsea White became the school’s first NCATA All-American. Oregon won its first six meets of the regular season and posted the top scores in the nation in compulsory (39.79), stunt (29.54), basket toss (29.42), tumbling (55.08) and overall team score (289.204). Despite a close setback in the regular season finale to Maryland, Oregon’s strong work all season long garnered it the top seed for the NCATA Championships at Matthew Knight Arena. From there, the Ducks picked up a semifinal win over Baylor and earned another showdown against the preseason-favorite Terrapins. This time, Oregon jumped out to an early lead and held off a late rally to cap the dream season for the Ducks. Off the mat, Mulkey has worked tirelessly in growing the sport of acrobatics and tumbling. She is playing a key role in submitting a bid to the NCAA to gain emerging sport status. Prior to the 2010-11 season, Mulkey was a catalyst in developing the scoring format that is currently in practice in acrobatics and tumbling meets. In 2010, UO won six meets and placed third at the National Cheerleading Association Collegiate National Championships as the stunts and gymnastics team. Now with a new name and meet format, Mulkey has the Ducks poised to not only be an elite team in the gym, but a pioneer of the rising sport of acrobatics and tumbling. “Last year’s team provided the program with a good foundation to build on,” Mulkey said. “The change to acrobatics and tumbling has changed our recruiting a little. It GODUCKS.COM
University of Oregon Ducks has allowed us to focus more on specific strengths and positions and it is opening up opportunities for women who may not have been able to compete in the previous format. Mulkey was named the program’s first head coach on May 15, 2008. Mulkey previously built the Kennesaw State competitive cheer program into a national powerhouse. The Owls finished fourth in the 2008 All-Women’s Division I Collegiate Championships after capturing national titles in 2004 and 2005. Mulkey, a 1998 Kennesaw State health and exercise science graduate and Atlanta, Ga. native, oversaw the development of a program that finished no worse than third nationally from 2001 through 2007. Her success resulted in the program ascending to the Division I level in 2006. Prior to transferring and taking over the head coaching reigns at the Kennesaw, Ga., school in May 1997, Mulkey cheered for two years at Southern Union State (Wadley, Ala.), and led the Bison to an eighth-place national finish in 1995. “Felecia’s credentials speak for themselves -- a two-time national championship coach and the energy that her team possessed when I went back to Daytona Beach, Fla., (site of the national championships) and watched them come out on that floor was outstanding,” said then-senior Associate Athletics Director Renee Baumgartner. “Her personality and what we’re trying to do at the University of Oregon, as well as on the national scene, will go a long way in positioning ourselves among the national leaders in this sport for years to come.” In addition to directing the Owls’ spirit and competitive programs, Mulkey served as the school’s sports operations director from 2007-2008. She also worked as marketing director of the American Lung Association in Smyrna, Ga., from July 1998 through July 2000, as well as the sports marketing and promotions director at her alma mater from 2000-06. Although she has had great success in recent years, Mulkey’s coaching career at Kennesaw State didn’t begin quite the way she hoped for. In 1998, When the male portion of the team did not show the amount of dedication to the team Mulkey had repeatedly asked for, she removed them from the squad and took the team to allfemale status. After three tryouts the team consisted of 18 women. The majority of the team had never even thought about being a cheerleader and they came from assorted sports like track,
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
KSU was part of the Peach Belt Athletic Conference at the time and the PBAC hosted a competitive cheer championship in conjunction with the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The little team that had never competed before finished fourth in the conference in a field of 11 co-ed teams and went on that year to finish 12th in the nation.From that year on, Mulkey’s team remained all-female and continued to compete in the Peach Belt Conference Championships which stayed co-ed. In 1999, Mulkey continued to reach out to athletes that had never participated in competitive cheer and trained them in the basics and tumbling as the season went on. Some of the athletes joined the team without a round-off but would finish the year with a complete tumbling pass. The Owls improved to a ninth place showing in nationals in just their second season of existence. The team continued to improve in both conference and national competition before the self-named KSU ‘Dirty Dozen’ wowed the nation in 2002. After beginning the season with 22 particpants, the Owls had just 12 members on the squad by the time conference and nationals we scheduled. Mulkey crafted a perfect routine, highlighting the strengths of her small team. KSU placed second in the Peach Belt Conference Championships, knocking off teams with 20 members each (10 men, 10 women). At the national competition, the ‘Dirty Dozen’ shocked the nation. They took the floor like the biggest team in town and pushed on to a dazzling second-place finish. Kennesaw State was on the map and Mulkey and her girls would never let the school leave it. After taking second again in 2003, KSU won its first national championship in 2004. Feeding off Mulkey’s motto of “NOT THIS TIME,” the Owls would not settle for another silver medal. Her squad came out on fire, holding first place from prelims through the finals. Kennesaw State and Mulkey did not rest with their new success, as the Owls battled to take home a second-straight national championship in 2005 before being promoted to Division I the following season. After moving to Division I, the Owls continued their winning ways by taking two-straight third place finishes and a fourth place showing in 2008. Mulkey proved she could win regardless of the circumstances or competition level while at Kennesaw State which was one of the main reasons the University of Oregon tapped her to create its Team Stunts and Gymnastics program from scratch.
THE MULKEY FILE
School Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University Kennesaw State University University of Oregon University of Oregon University of Oregon University of Oregon University of Oregon
2011, 2012 and 2013 NCATA National Champions
swimming, diving, softball, and a few from gymnastics backgrounds.
Position Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach Head Coach
National Finish 12th Ninth Fifth Second Second Second First First Third Third Fourth N/A Third First First First GODUCKS.COM
2014 Acrobatics & Tumbling Media Guide
ASSISTANT COACH • FOURTH SEASON • KENNESAW STATE, ‘08 Angela Ucci is in her fourth season as an assistant coach at the University of Oregon. In the previous three seasons, Ucci helped the Ducks to three consecutive NCATA National Championships and 24 individual event national championships. Ucci has coached eight Ducks to All-America honors, including one Performer of the Year.
In her first season as assistant coach of the then stunts and gymnastics team, Ucci helped lead the Ducks to six meet victories and a third-place finish in the 2010 national tournament. Ucci joined head coach Felecia Mulkey’s staff as an assistant coach on June 20, 2009.
Since Ucci’s arrival, the Ducks have posted a 27-1 (.964) record the past three seasons. In the 2013 campaign, Ucci and the Ducks went a perfect 8-0 and defeated secondseeded Quinnipiac to win another national title. The Ducks won an unprecedented 12 individual event National Championships, while Sarah Moreno, Tara Lubert, Nicole Erlichman and Natasha Katzaroff were named All-Americans. Lubert was also named the 2013 Performer of the Year. Ucci picked up where she left off last season by creating more difficult tumbling routines that assisted in the Ducks capturing five out of a possible six individual event titles at the 2012 NCATA National Championship. Oregon improved during the course of the 2012 season in tumbling under Ucci, with UO besting all of their marks from the 2010-11 season, including recording the Ducks’ first perfect scores in the aerial and six-element tumbling passes. Only five 10.0’s were notched in those two events nationwide, while Ucci led Katzaroff and Erlichman to three and two of those scores, respectively. UO also owned nationwide highs in the duo (9.95) and quad (9.25) tumbling passes under Ucci’s watchful eye. The Ducks have already put themselves on the map as a national power after claiming the inaugural National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association title in front of the home fans of Matthew Knight Arena to cap a tremendous 2011 season.
Year 2008-09 2010-present
While the name of the sport has changed, Ucci’s responsibilities still include coaching tumbling as well the back base position for the Ducks. Ucci was instrumental in coaching sophomore Natasha Katzaroff to the 2011 NCATA Individual Tumbling National Title. Ucci (pronounced ooh-chi), born in Kennesaw, Ga., has 10 years of all-around experience in gymnastics, starting out her career competing nationally for the Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta before joining Mulkey’s squad at KSU in 2003. While with the Owls, Ucci was a five-time All-American selection while competing as a back base for the club competitive cheerleading team. Ucci was also a member of both of Mulkey’s two national championship teams in 2004 and 2005. “Angela is a fantastic addition to our team and to the Oregon athletics department,” said Mulkey. “She shares the same drive and passion as I do for not only improving our own team, but for nationally advancing our sport in general.” After graduating from Kennesaw State in 2008 with a degree in exercise and heath science, Ucci started a small tumbling program out of Workout Anytime in Kennesaw where she was also employed as a personal trainer. She simultaneously worked as a gymnastics coach for World of Gymnastics and was also the curriculum director at World of Cheer.
THE UCCI FILE
School Position World of Cheer and Gymnastics Club Coach University of Oregon Assistant Coach
2011, 2012 and 2013 NCATA National Champions
University of Oregon Ducks
ASSISTANT COACH • FIRST SEASON • OREGON, ‘12 Former UO All-American Kelsey Rowell enters her first season as an assistant coach. The Salem, Ore., native joins Mulkey’s staff after leading Oregon to back-to-back national title as a student-athlete. “Kelsey is a much-needed addition to our coaching staff and to the Oregon team,” said Mulkey. “Having her on the sidelines will be a fantastic asset to the team. She has been a part of this program since its inaugural year, bringing a wealth of knowledge from the student-athlete perspective, and this will be invaluable in our recruiting efforts and direction for the program.” Rowell was a member of the acrobatics and tumbling team from 2009-2012, leading the Ducks to NCATA National Championships in 2011 and 2012. She earned several individual national titles, namely in the tumbling events, and was honored as an NCATA All-American as a senior.
Year 2009-12 2013-present
Rowell was born in Salem, Ore., and has lived in several parts of the country. She has 12 years of all-around experience in gymnastics, competing nationally in Oregon, California and Texas before joining Mulkey’s squad at Oregon in 2009. Prior to competing collegiately, she was a Level IX Western National Qualifier in 2001, and a Level 10 National Qualifier in 2002 and 2003. She holds regional championship titles on floor, beam and vault. The Ducks have put themselves on the map as a national powerhouse after claiming the national title three years in a row. Kelsey will join the staff as an overall expert in the field with tremendous collegiate experience. After graduating from Oregon in 2012 with a degree in sociology, Rowell worked at Vircon Inc., in Portland, Ore., as a consultant relations manager in the human resources department. She is planning to pursue her graduate degree in the fall of 2014.
THE ROWELL FILE
School Position University of Oregon Student-Athlete University of Oregon Assistant Coach
2011, 2012 and 2013 NCATA National Champions