The last time Megan Bamford wore the coveted Green and Yellow colors, she was competing on the 2012 NCATA National Championship-winning team. She has since taken on a new role for the Oregon Ducks: assistant coach.
While this season marks Bamford’s official return to the University of Oregon, she never truly parted ways with the sport since her former days as an acrobatics and tumbling athlete for the Ducks.
After graduating in 2012 with a degree in Psychology and two NCATA National Championships under her belt, Bamford shifted her focus toward achieving her master’s degree in Arts and Leadership from Shorter University in Rome, Georgia.
From Shorter, Bamford sought out a new destination to continue her involvement in the sport. In 2014 opportunity came knocking, and Bamford headed north to King University after receiving a phone call from an old friend.
“I got a call from my former coach, Felecia Mulkey, who is now at Baylor,” Bamford said. “She told me ‘this is near where you are at, if you’re wanting to take this job.’”
Bamford remained at King as head coach through the teams 2017 season.
Following Oregon’s hiring of her former teammate Keenyn Won in 2017, Bamford received yet another pleasantly surprising phone call. This time, the advantageous phone call came from her alma mater.
“It was really awesome to bring her back, and have someone who values the same things that I do as a coach, and as an athlete previously here at Oregon when we were on the same team,” Won said. “It’s definitely been cool to have her here with me and be able to remember what started this program and what made it so successful.”
Now that Bamford and Won are together again, both have shared interest in reinstating some of the “old ways” of their former decorated team into this season’s group of athletes.
The duo echoed their focus on instilling principles of selflessness, and added that chasing a national title for the teams upperclassmen is a priority this season.
“We have 10 seniors on this team who have not yet won a national championship. We’ve talked to them a lot about the qualities, and coming together as a family, and doing it for eachother,” Won said. “You know back in 2009, and leading up to getting those championships was about doing it for someone else. They are working really hard to get that goal since they haven’t been able to bring that national championship back to Eugene.”
With less than a month left before the team’s first competition, Bamford and Won quickly approach the much-anticipated date they make their official return to Oregon acrobatics and tumbling.
A day both coaches have long been waiting for, and better yet, the two former Ducks will be side-by-side once again.
The Ducks kick-off the 2018 season against Concordia (Wisconsin) on Feb. 5 in Mequon, Wisconsin.
Follow Jack Taylor on Twitter @taylorjack36