Russell Reynolds and Associates just cannot work fast enough, who are they you ask? Well, they are the company that USA Gymnastics hired after the resignation of former President Steve Penny to find his replacement. USAG posted an article about the hiring of this outside firm on May 12, 2017. Bottom line, the gymnastics community is not feeling good with the current direction of the sport’s governing body. One of the mistakes USAG made with the Steve Penny hire, is although Steve Penny had great previous experience as an executive, his greatest weakness is that he knew nothing about gymnastics. Just think about that for a moment. The President of USA Gymnastics, the governing body of gymnastics in the United State of America was a gymnastics novice, it was like he just signed up for beginner adult tumbling classes at your local gym. You can’t make this stuff up, this actually happen. Is USA Gymnastics gonna repeat this again?
So without further ado, the next President of USA Gymnastics should be someone with great leaderships skills but also someone who understands the uniqueness of our sport and willing to make the necessary personnel changes to revitalized the atmosphere within the community.
#1 Suzanne Yoculan
Suzanne Yoculan, is one of the most decorated coaches of all-time with any sport. As head coach for the University of Georgia women’s gymnastics team, she has guided her teams to ten NCAA team Championships including a run of 5 consecutive national titles during her final 5 seasons. During Yoculan’s 26 years with the “Gym Dogs” she has amassed 5 NCAA Coach of the Year and eight SEC Women’s Gymnastics Coach of the Year.
#2 Mark Williams
Fresh off guiding the Oklahoma men’s gymnastics team to their ever 3-peat NCAA Championships (2015, 2016, 2017), Coach Mark Williams has his eighth team title in fifteen years with OU. The University of Oklahoma Men’s Gymnastics team is on a 76 consecutive win streak and has not lost a competition since April 11th of 2014. William was also the 2016 Olympic head coach and since being head coach at Oklahoma in 2000, he has positioned the program as a national contender every year with an overall mark of 451-36 (.926) in 18 seasons.
#3 K.J Kindler
K.J Kindler, a three-time National Coach of the Year, for the University of Oklahoma. As Oklahoma head coach, she has guided the team to a NCAA Championships team titles in 2014, 2016, 2017, seven top-three national finishes, 93 All-America honors and nine Big 12 titles. Over the last 5 years, Kindler has been the best NCAA womens gymnastics coach in the country.
#4 Lauanne Madorma
Lauanne Madorma is the casting director for the aquatic high-flying stunt show Le Reve. Madorma is responsible for finding people capable in performing in the best acrobatic show on the Las Vegas strip. In the 10 years that Madorma has been with Le Reve, she has built relationships with Olympians, world champions, and top coaches around the world. Le Reve features 90 performers, 250 cast and crew members.
#5 Shayla Worley
Shayla Worley was a member of the gold medal winning American team at the 2007 World Championships. Worley, a three-time Presidential Scholar and three-time NCAA Academic All-American graduated in 2014, from the University of Georgia with a Master of Business Administration in finance. At Georgia, Worley was on the Student-Athlete Leadership Education and Development Academy and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
#6 Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons
Taqiy Abdullah, Oklahoma assistant coach, is a six-time NCAA Champion. While competing Taqiy was part of three National Championship winning teams, nine time All-American (5th All-Time at the University), and the 2007 NCAA All-Around Champion, becoming the first ever African American All-Around Champion. In 2016 and 2017 Taqiy was awarded 2016 National Assistant Coach of the year. Abdullah also had a career as a performer for Disney World Resorts “Festival of the Lion King” and Cirque du Soleil “La Nouba”.
#7 Justin Spring
Justin Spring, head coach for the University of Illinois, was named National Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading the team to its 10th NCAA team championship. As an athlete, Spring was a member of the bronze medal winning team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is a thirteen-time NCAA All-American. In 2005, Spring became the first Illini gymnast to win a national title at the Visa Championships, winning the gold on high bar.
#8 Dominique Helena Moceanu Canales
Dominique Moceanu was a member of the gold medal winning US. women’s gymnastics team, the “Magnificent Seven” at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. In 1995, at the age of 13, Moceanu become the youngest gymnast to win the US National Championships senior all-around title.
#9 Rhonda Faehn
Rhonda Faehn is currently the senior vice president for USA Gymnastics. Faehn, is most notably known for her 13 years career as head coach for the University of Florida. During the last three years as head coach, she guided the Gators to three-consecutive NCAA Championships in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Faehn was awarded SEC Coach of the Year honors six times.
#10 Kim Zmeskal Burdette
Kim Zmeskal Burdette is the first American to win the World all-round gold medal, which occurred at the 1991 World Championships. One year later Kim, guided team USA to a Bronze team medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Currently, she coaches and co-owns Texas Dreams Gymnastics, one of the best programs in the country in Coppell, Texas with her husband Chris Burdette.
#11 Raj Bhavsar
Raj Bhavsar, Olympic bronze medalist, is the creator of two gymnastics elements. Bhavsar is a three-time NCAA champion and a won the NCAA all-around title in 2002. Raj is “Mr. Reliable” and has seen it all with his experiences in the gymnastics and entertainment world. He also was a performer for Cirque du Soleil.
#12 Steven Legendre
Steven Legendre, two-time National Assistant Coach of the Year, won the silver medal on vault at the 2013 World Championships. During Legendre collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma, he won 12 All-America honors and 6 NCAA titles.
#13 Jenny Rowland
Jenny Rowland, University of Florida head coach, is a former US. National Team member, and the first Arizona State Sun Devil gymnast to score a 10.0 on bars. In 2015, Rowland was named NCAA Co-Assistant Coach of the Year. She is also, a Category 3 International Brevet level judge. She served on the judging panel for the 2008, 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
#14 Nastia Liukin
Nastia Liukin is the 2008 Olympic individual all-around champion, two-time balance beam World Champion, and 2005 Bars World Champion. Currently, Liukin serves as a NBC sports analyst for the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
#15 Mike Burns
Mike Burns, head coach for the University of Minnesota, was named the 2017 Big Ten Coach of the Year. For over 20 years, Burns has been an ambassador for gymnastics. Currently, he is the president of the College Gymnastics Association and is on the Advisory Council for the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors.
#16 Jair Lynch
Jair Lynch won a silver medal on the parallel bars at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. While attending Stanford University, Lynch was a member of the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Championship teams. In 1997, he founded Jair Lynch Development Partners, a real estate development company in Washington, DC. In addition Jair served on the board for the United States Olympic Committee.
#17 John Roethlisberger
John Roethlisberger, a three-time Olympian, is ranked second all-time with four US National Championship all-around titles. He is also a six time USA Gymnastics Sportsperson of the Year and three-time NCAA all-around champion. Currently, Roethlisberger co-owns the Camp Flipfest in Crossville, Tennessee.
#18 Shannon Miller
Shannon Miller is the second most decorated US. gymnast behind Simon Biles with a combined total of 16 World Championships and Olympic medals. Miller is currently the president of Shannon Miller Lifestyle and the Shannon Miller Foundation, which is dedicated to fighting childhood obesity.
#19 Jeff Robinson
Jeff Robinson aka “Captain America”. Is there any this guy can’t do? Robinson was one of the first stunt actors for Harrison Ford for the nations longest running stunt show Disney World Resorts “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular”. While working on the show Robinson co-founded Orlando Metro Gymnastics and within a few years he had the best mens gymnastics team in Florida and produced several junior national team members and an Olympian. Currently Robinson is the head coach for the Air Force men’s gymnastics team.
#20 Daniel K. Bachman, CFP
Daniel Bachman is the Director At-Large for the National Gymnastics Judging Association. What makes Bachman a great candidate is that he has over 28 years in the financial services industry as a Certified Financial Planner for Guide Financial Group. Dan’s specialty is breaking down difficult financial concepts into easy to understand formats.
#21 Valorie Kondos Field
Valorie Kondos is UCLA’s gymnastics greatest coach of all time. In her 17 year career at the program as head coach she has an overall winning percentage of .816. In 1997, she guided the team to their first NCAA team title has five athletes to 11 NCAA individual titles, 26 athletes to 106 All-America honors and 13 gymnasts to 34 Pa-10 event titles.
#22 Dan Gill
Current CEO and co-founder of webforum company Huddler who raised $17 million venture funding. Dan competed for Standford from 2001-2004, Nissen-Emery award winner, and a 2-time senior national team member.
#23 Chelsea Memmel
Chelsea Memmel is the 2015 all-around World Champion and the 2008 Olympic Silver medalist. Memmel is tied with Shawn Johnson as the seventh most decorated US. female gymnast of all time.
#24 Paul Ziert
Before Oklahoma had legendary coach Mark Williams, Paul Ziert led Oklahoma men’s gymnastics program to its first two national championships in his first 4 years of with the program. The Stanford master’s graduate is the publisher of International GYMNAST magazine which is the most respected gymnastics publication in the world and is the CEO of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
#25 Alicia Sacramone
Alicia Sacramone is the third most decorated gymnastics in American history. At the 2008 Olympic Games, she won team silver for the United States and is a four-time World Champion. Sacromone was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2016.
#26 Wendy Hillard
For over 20 years Wendy Hillard’s gymnastics foundation has been providing free and low-cost gymnastics for over 15,000 urban youth in New York City and Detroit. Hillard was the first African-American rhythmic gymnast to represent the United States in international competition, including three World Championships (1979, 1981, and 1983). In 1996, she also served as President of the Women’s Sports Foundation.
#27 Morgan Hamm
Morgan Hamm won Olympic team Silver medal at the 2004 Athens Summer Games along side his twin brother Paul Hamm. Morgan was also a member of the 2003 World Championships Silver medal team and the first gymnast to introduce the B-boy skill “Airflare” to artistic gymnastics. In 2014, Hamm earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Concordia University Wisconsin.
#28 Stacy Clark
Stacy Clark a former gymnast and professional circus performer knows how to recruit. Over the past few years Clark has been making a name for herself in the gymnastics world. Clark is the head of acrobatic casting and talent scout for Cirque du Soleil. Clark skill set will be invaluable as the new President of USA Gymnastics will most likely clean house and start over, so having someone who is good at evaluating talent to rebuild personnel is key.
#29 Blaine Wilson
Since, 1980 Blaine Wilson has the most All-Around titles (5) in USA Gymnastics Championships history. Wilson, a three-time Olympian was one of the most clutch gymnasts in NCAA history. During his days at Ohio State University, he won six NCAA national titles, including the all-round crown in 1996 and 1997. Wilson won the Nissen-Emery Award in 1997. Currently Wilson owns and operates Integrity Athletics in Plain City, Ohio.
#30 Aly Raisman
Aly Raisman, two-time Olympian, was US women’s gymnastics team captain on the gold medal teams the 2012 “Fierce Five” and 2016 “Final Five” at the Olympic Games. Raisman was also a member of the gold medal winning teams at the 2011 and 2015 World Championships.