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Andreť Pickens, one of the most decorated collegiate gymnasts in NCAA history, officially joined the Southeast Missouri State gymnastice team today as assistant coach.
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Gymnastics Hires High-Profile Assistant Coach

July 1, 2004

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - One of the most prolific gymnasts in NCAA history is headed to Southeast Missouri State University. The Southeast gymnastics team announced the signing of Andreť Pickens as new assistant coach. Pickens, a 14-time All-American, joins a Southeast squad that is coming off its best season since 1998.

Pickens has too many accomplishments to list them all, but some of her greatest achievements include winning an NCAA National Championship on balance beam (1999) and uneven bars (2002), earning the 2002 Honda-Broderick Award for gymnastics (given to the national gymnast of the year), and the 2002 NCAA Top VIII Award winner - the most prestigious award given by the NCAA.

"Her accomplishments and success as a collegiate athlete speak for themselves," said Head Coach Tom Farden. "She's had an amazing career and we hope her experience in championship athletics can help our program move forward to a championship level."


Pickens, a Houston, Texas, native, competed at the University of Alabama from 1999-2002. In 1999, she became the first freshman in NCAA history to win five All-American honors, while also being named SEC Freshman of the year.

In 2000, 2001 and 2002 she was named SEC Gymnast of the year, and was a member of the 2002 NCAA National Champion Alabama squad.

After graduating as school record-holder in vault, uneven bars and all-around, Pickens served as a student coach for the Crimson Tide during the 2003 season, helping Alabama to a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

"I hope to bring my experience with me to Southeast in hopes of helping the program grow and broaden the horizons of the team," Pickens said. "I'm very excited for the opportunity to help a program that's on the rise."

In 2004 the Southeast squad posted a record of 15-7, including a perfect 5-0 in home meets.

"I look forward to having her work with the team," Farden said. "We hope to build on the success of last year with the addition of Andreť to our program."

Pickens will assist the team on balance beam, floor routines and recruiting.

"The program and the school seem very supportive of all the programs on campus," Pickens said. "The athletes seem very positive and Tom is a great motivator. I'm really excited for the opportunity to help the program."


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