Nebraska Academic All-Americans
For head coach Dan Kendig and the Nebraska women's gymnastics program, academic success is as paramount as athletic accomplishments. With 11 gymnasts capturing 16 CoSIDA Academic All-America awards, and Nebraska gymnasts winning a total of 97 NACGC/W Scholastic All-America Awards since 1997, the Huskers have maintained a high standard of academic excellence.
Since 1988, 11 Husker gymnasts have earned CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition. Nebraska leads the nation with 329 Academic All-America honors across all sports.
Mary Ocel was the first NU gymnast to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, earning third-team honors in 1998 with a 3.9 grade-point average in physical education. Ocel graduated from NU in 1989 and currently coaches gymnastics in her native state of Minnesota.
Jane Clemons, a Big Eight all-around champion, became the second Husker gymnast to be named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team in 1990. She posted a 3.663 cumulative grade-point average in elementary education and is now a gymnastics coach in Arizona.
Nicole Duval earned third-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 1993 and 1994, before earning first-team accolades as a senior. An All-Big Eight performer in 1993, Duval graduated with a 3.95 grade-point average in biological sciences. She currently works as a clinical researcher.
Joy Taylor, the 1996 CoSIDA Academic All-American Gymnast of the Year, graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average in biological sciences in 1996. A two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America selection, Taylor was the Big Eight vault, balance beam and all-around champion and earned second-team All-America honors in both her junior and senior seasons. Taylor was the first Husker female gymnast to earn both athletic and academic All-America honors in the same season.
A first-team academic All-American in 1996, Kim DeHaan was a three-time All-American who led Nebraska to its first NCAA Super Six finals appearance in 1997. DeHaan also earned academic and athletic All-America honors in the same year, earning second-team All-America honors on uneven bars in 1996. DeHaan is enrolled at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where she is working toward her M.D.
Bree Dority O'Callaghan became Nebraska's sixth CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2001, a year in which she also captured second-team All-America honors on the uneven bars. O'Callaghan retired from gymnastics after suffering a back injury in training in the summer of 2001.
In 2002 and 2003, Jen French was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America second team. She graduated with a degree in exercise science in 2003. A second-team All-American on the balance beam as a junior, French led the Huskers in the classroom in 2002, posting a 3.86 grade-point average.
A six-time All-American in gymnastics competition, Libby Landgraf was named a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2004. Landgraf completed her degree in management in August of the same year.
Richelle Simpson is one of the finest student-athletes in NU history, she was named to the second team in 2005 and earned a multitude of national awards in her junior and senior seasons, including Nebraska's first AAI American Award, a Big 12 Prentice-Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She was also honored as one of 10 finalists for the 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year. Simpson is currently lives in Las Vegas and performs in the Cirque du Solei show Myste're with former Husker gymnast A.J. Lamb.
In 2013 Emily Wong picked up her first CoSIDA Academic All-America honor being named to the second-team. An 11-time All-American in competition and Nebraska's second AAI Award winner capped one of the must successful senior seasons as a Nebraska gymnast in 2014. The Big Ten Gymnast of the Year collected numerous awards through her final season at Nebraska and was named to the CoSIDA Academic-All-American first team.
Danielle Breen became the most recent Husker to earn Academic All-America honors, as she earned second-team recognition in 2017. Breen, who will be a senior for NU in 2018, also earned second-team All-America honors for the Huskers on balance beam in 2017. The accounting major carried a perfect 4.0 GPA through her junior year.