Randy Solorio named conference Assistant Coach of the Year

State Hornet Staff

Sacramento State’s gymnastics associate head coach Randy Solorio has been named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Assistant Coach of the Year.

Solorio primarily works with the vault and floor competitors and has been alongside head coach Kim Hughes for 29 years.

Hughes said similar coaching style allows them to work well together, encouraging the athletes with an optimistic outlook.

“Not high pressure, but can be strict when needed to be,” Hughes said. “We have this attitude in the gym like we want (the women) to do gymnastics because they enjoy it and not because they are being forced to do things. Obviously (Solorio has) technical knowledge, but his personality shows positive reinforcement.”

Solorio had a star scholarship-athlete vault lineup this year, which was the team’s most consistent rotation this season.

This year’s Hornets beat the previous Sac State vault record with a 49.150 en route to an impressive victory during the conference championships on March 22.

Solorio said the gymnasts make it easier to do his job because they are a naturally talented bunch.

“They’re really good, so the corrections I have to make aren’t drastic,” Solorio said. “We just work on small corrections rather than learning a whole new vault, like in years past.”

Senior Kailey Hansen is an example of how things were in previous season. She came to Sac State without a collegiate vault and Solorio taught her a yurchenko full twist, which is sending Hansen to the NCAA women’s gymnastics Seattle regionals on Friday.

“Especially for me, coming from such different experiences with my coaches at Washington, it’s so cool to have Randy because he’s just so positive,” Hansen said. “That’s exactly what I needed because I’m a very positive person.”

Hughes saluted Solorio on his way of training the gymnasts through injuries. He modifies the assignments and cuts numbers to preserve the athletes.

“Randy’s biggest job and what he did well was managing training that worked within limitations,” Hughes said.

Randy said patience is an important ingredient to success because college athletics can be stressful at times and the athletes should not be so hard on themselves.

“It goes the opposite direction sometimes and (they) get down on themselves,” Solorio said. “What I tell (the gymnasts is) ‘you’ll know when you’re doing bad when I tell you you’re doing bad. Don’t judge yourself.’”