MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University gymnastics coach Jason Butts announces that Travis Doak has been elevated from assistant coach to associate head coach.
Doak enters his seventh season at his alma mater. He joined the staff in 2009 under 37-year coach Linda Burdette-Good. He is responsible for coaching vault, bars and floor, and he also oversees the Mountaineers’ recruiting efforts.
“I’m excited for coach Doak to have this expanded role with the Mountaineer gymnastics program,” says Butts. “His dedication and hard work have helped this team grow tremendously over the last few years, and he has actively taken on responsibilities beyond the call of duty. Coach Doak deserves this recognition, and I trust and rely on his decision making and leadership skills. I feel that his coaching is critical in getting WVU gymnastics back to the national stage.”
“I am deeply honored to be named the associate head coach of the WVU gymnastics program,” Doak says. “I would like to thank coach Jason Butts and the administration for providing me this opportunity at a prestigious school and program. I was raised a Mountaineer, and I enjoy every practice, competition and opportunity I get to show a recruit all WVU has to offer. There is nothing like being a Mountaineer, and that is why I am so excited to continue to work with coach Butts and build on his philosophy so we can grow this program to its full potential.
“We have a great returning team in 2015, incredible incoming freshmen and a tremendous staff. There is so much surrounding this program about which to be excited, and I am thankful every day that I get to be a part of it all. I look forward to the success of future seasons.”
Since Doak joined the staff in 2009, WVU has made five NCAA Regional Championships appearances, qualified two student-athletes to the NCAA National Championships, earned one conference championship title and compiled an overall record of 87-52 (.626). During his tenure, the Mountaineers have secured 52 all-conference honors, two gymnast of the year distinctions and two outstanding senior gymnast nods.
Doak played a key role in Hope Sloanhoffer’s successful 2014 season, as he helped guide the senior to All-Big 12 First Team honors and the Big 12 Conference all-around title, the first Big 12 win for a Mountaineer gymnast. Sloanhoffer, along with three teammates, individually qualified for the NCAA Athens Regional Championships, where she finished tied for first on the balance beam and tied for second in the all-around, earning her a bid to the NCAA National Championships, the team’s first qualification since 2009. She finished ninth on vault with a season-best 9.875 score.
In 2013, Doak helped guide the Mountaineers through their first season in the Big 12, as the team went 196.0 or better in every home meet, a feat never before achieved in program history. WVU was nationally ranked six times in the GymInfo Poll, peaking at No. 16, and qualified for its 35th NCAA Regional appearance.
Doak played a major role in 2012, helping the Mountaineers transition under first-year coach Butts and parlay the change into instant success. In addition to WVU’s league-best seventh East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) title, the squad advanced to the NCAA Auburn Regional Championships as the No. 5 seed and finished in fifth place with a 195.9 score, the team’s best-ever regional point total. The Mountaineers finished the year at 21-5, the program’s first 20-win season since 2008.
In 2011, Doak guided the vault and floor lineups to the No. 1 and No. 2 EAGL rankings, respectively. Those lineups also ranked No. 17 and No. 21, respectively, in the nation. In his second season at WVU in 2010, Doak coached Amy Bieski and Nicole Roach to All-EAGL First Team Floor and Bars honors, respectively, and helped Chelsi Tabor attain the second-best league vault regional qualify score (RQS) of 9.855; the mark ranked No. 10 in the region and No. 47 in the nation.
Doak’s first season with the Mountaineers was successful, as the team finished nationally ranked 17th on vault and 21st on bars. In the EAGL, the team finished ranked first on floor and second on vault and bars. Additionally, he helped coach Mehgan Morris to a national championships berth, as she finished fifth in the all-around at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships. She also won EAGL bars, floor and all-around titles and was named the league’s most outstanding senior gymnast.
A native of Beverly, W.Va., Doak came to WVU after serving as an assistant coach at Penn State in 2008, where he was responsible for recruiting, team training, spotting on all skill levels and administrative duties. His primary coaching responsibilities included oversight of the Nittany Lion vault and floor exercise. He helped PSU sign four top-10 Junior Olympic finalists and guided the Nittany Lions to a 17-9 record.
Doak also served as an assistant at New Hampshire in 2006-07. His responsibilities included team workouts, recruiting, video work and community service initiatives.
He began his coaching career in 2004 as a volunteer assistant at West Virginia, working with spotting, fundraising and recruit evaluations.
Doak earned his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia in sport management in 2006 and a master’s degree in athletic coaching education in 2008.