Aug. 13, 2010
HARTFORD, Conn. - Air Force men's gymnastics head coach Kip Simons was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame this afternoon (Aug. 13) at the Marriott Hotel Ballroom in Hartford, Conn. Simons was one of six inductees into the sport's prestigious Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held in conjunction with the 2010 Visa Championships.
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 was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
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, four USAG champions (nine titles) and 17 USAG All-Americans (35 certificates). He received the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year award in 2006, the USAG Varsity Coach of the Year and NCAA West Region Coach of the Year awards in 2008, and the USAG Varsity Head Coach of the Year, NCAA West Region Coach of the Year and the CGA/Collegiate Division National Coach of the Year in 2010.
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.
He joins former Air Force head coach Karl Schier (1965-68, 1970-76) in the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Schier was inducted in 1982.
Today's luncheon wrapped up an exciting week for the Air Force men's gymnastics program in Hartford, Conn. On Wednesday, freshman Colton Wulf placed 16th in the all-around at the 2010 Visa Championships (Junior Division) - the first-ever Air Force gymnast to compete at the national meet.