BYU gymnastics will honor all those affected by breast cancer at the Pink Meet against No. 17 Iowa Friday night, including the late Gaye Merrill, a former athletic trainer for nearly 30 years.
Merrill is held in high regard by members of the current coaching staff. Head coach Guard Young and assistant coaches Natalie Broekman and Brogan Evanson competed on BYU men’s and women’s gymnastics teams under her care. Broekman recalled loving Merrill as a mother figure, as did the entire team. Additionally, Evanson worked with Merrill as she completed a strength training and conditioning internship at BYU.
“Thinking about her as the Pink Meet approaches, I miss her,” Evanson said. “BYU is not the same without her. Being back on campus and a part of the program, I realized you can’t replace her.”
Merrill worked as a trainer on the sidelines and a clinical professor in the classroom before passing away in 2010 after a valiant fight with cancer.
“Gaye was one of those people that did so much for the athletes she had stewardship over,” Evanson said. “She was loving, kind and good at her job. She dedicated her life to serving student athletes. She did those little things that added up and made a big difference.”