Kip Simons to be Inducted into USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame
March 23, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Air Force men's gymnastics head coach Kip Simons will be inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame this summer, as a member of the 2010 induction class, the national governing body announced this afternoon (March 23) from its office in Indianapolis, Ind. Simons is one of six inductees into the sport's prestigious hall of fame.
"I'm tremendously honored to be selected to the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame," Simons said. "To be recognized among the country's top gymnasts is very humbling. Starting this sport at the age of six, I never dreamed that one day I would be inducted into the Hall of Fame."
Simons, a native of Bloomsburg, Pa., competed on the 1994 and 1995 World Championship teams and was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Men's Gymnastics Team. He and his teammates won team gold medals at the 1995 Pan-American Games and the 1994 Pacific Alliance Championships, where he individually earned a silver medal on the still rings. Simons won the still rings title, placed second on the parallel bars and finished fourth in the all-around at the 1996 national meet.
During a successful college career at Ohio State, Simons earned numerous honors, including the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the Nissen-Emery Award, which is given to the nation's top senior gymnast. He was a four-year member of the All-Big 10 team, while earning four Big 10 Conference titles on the parallel bars (1992, 1994), still rings (1992) and high bar (1993).
Simons spent five years on the coaching staff at Cal-Berkeley, including four as an assistant coach and one as the associate head coach. Since taking over the Air Force program in 2005, Simons has coached one NCAA All-American (two certificates), one Nissen-Emery finalist, two USAG champions (seven titles) and 12 USAG All-Americans (26 certificates). He received the USAG Coach of the Year and West Region Coach of the Year awards in 2008, as well as the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year award in 2006.
Joining Simons in the 2010 induction class are 1996 Olympic team gold-medalist Dominique Moceanu, 1992 Olympic team bronze-medalist Wendy Bruce-Martin and Olympian Jennifer Parilla (2000 trampoline). The class also includes 2004 and 2008 U.S. Men's Olympic team head coach Kevin Mazeika and 2000 U.S. Olympic trampoline coach Robert Null. Ellen Nyemcsik (rhythmic gymnastics) will also be honored with the lifetime achievement award.
The USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1959. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and group gymnastics.
The 2010 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 13, as part of the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show in Hartford, Conn., and will be held in conjunction with the 2010 Visa Championships.
"When I reflect on all facets of my life, I realize that the life lessons I have learned and continue to learn are a direct result of my love for the sport of gymnastics," Simons said. "We all know the sport of gymnastics is very infectious. Once you begin heading down the `road of gymnastics', there is no turning back."