BYU Gymnastics Dedicates Season To Late Trainer Gaye Merrill

The Cougars will compete in their first home meet on Saturday at Noon in the Smith Fieldhouse. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU women’s gymnastics team will wear pink leotards throughout the 2011 season in honor of their former athletic trainer, the late Gaye Merrill, who passed away May 24, 2010, following a valiant fight with cancer. The team decided to dedicate their season to Merrill, a woman whose influence will not be soon forgotten.

“Gaye was one of those people that there wasn’t anyone who didn’t learn to be better by being around her,” BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said. “She made everyone want to be better. There wasn’t anyone that didn’t like her. Everyone loved Gaye.”

During her nearly 30 years at BYU, Merrill was involved in both teaching and clinical work. Although she enjoyed being in the classroom, her first love was helping the hundreds of BYU student-athletes she served through the years.

“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague Gaye Merrill,” BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe said at the time of Merrill’s passing. “We will miss her and the wonderful contributions she made to our department, our teams and especially the lives of our student-athletes.”

The pink helped the team to a 6-1-1 record thus far in the season, the Cougars best start since 2007.

“The team came to me and they really wanted to honor Gaye,” BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said. “I think it’s great because it gives them a bit of a higher purpose.”

The team has already received positive feedback from other teams who appreciate the team’s dedication to Merrill and all of those who have fought against breast cancer. During the team’s last meet in Cleveland, Ohio, a moment of silence was taken to remember Merrill.

BYU gymnastics will host their first home meet of the season this Saturday at noon in the Smith Fieldhouse.