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Jordyn Wieber is first Olympic champion gymnast to become NCAA head coach

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Jordyn Wieber was named the University of Arkansas’ women’s gymnastics coach on Wednesday, not seven years since she helped lead the U.S. to an Olympic title.

Wieber, 23, was already the first female Olympic champion to coach at the NCAA level as a volunteer assistant at UCLA the last three seasons. Now she will lead her own program.

“Gymnastics has provided me some extraordinary opportunities, from traveling the world and competing for my country at the Olympics to coaching alongside one of the legends of our sport at UCLA [recently retired Valorie Kondos Field],” Wieber said in a press release. “Those experiences have been invaluable to my growth personally and professionally while also preparing me for this role.”

Wieber gave up her eligibility to compete collegiately when she turned professional following her 2011 World all-around title. Her last competition was the London Olympics, where she took team gold but missed the all-around final despite placing fourth overall in qualifying. Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas were Nos. 2 and 3, and the max is two athletes per country in an individual gymnastics final.

Medical tests after the Olympics showed Wieber competed in London with a stress fracture in her right leg.

Wieber matriculated at UCLA in 2013 and became a team manager. Much was made of one of the world’s best gymnasts moving mats, filling water bottles and firing T-shirt guns, as a 2015 Sports Illustrated back-page column detailed.

After three seasons, Wieber became a volunteer assistant and graduated in 2017 with a psychology degree.

She helped coach one of her 2012 Olympic teammates — Kyla Ross — the last three seasons at Westwood. For Ross’ last season, it looks like Wieber could coach against her.

Other Olympic medalists have coached collegiately, including current Georgia head coach Courtney Kupets, Nebraska assistant Jim Hartung and former Ohio State assistant Paul Hamm.

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