Chris Brooks -  - Arkansas Razorbacks

Chris Brooks

Chris Brooks was named an assistant coach of Arkansas Gymnastics by head coach Jordyn Wieber on Friday, May 17, 2019.

Brooks is the primary uneven bars coach at Arkansas and has taken the event to historic heights in the four seasons since. During the 2023 slate, some of Arkansas’ best work on bars came in the postseason as the Hogs notched a program SEC Championships event record of 49.125, the second year in a row with Arkansas bringing home a new SEC bars high. The mark also contributed to the Hogs’ 196.825 as a team, a new SEC Championships record.

Brooks helped lead the Gymbacks to another program top 10 event score in the regular season with a 49.475 against Georgia in March, which places six of Arkansas’ best 11 bars scores ever under Brooks’ coaching. Arkansas scored 49+ in 11 of 12 meets, its best showing since his arrival, and had 19 9.9+ scores.

Brooks also assisted with vault in the 2023 season, in which Arkansas set a new program event record for the second year in a row, this time 49.525 at Kentucky on Feb. 17, 2023. At that meet, Leah Smith earned a 9.950. on her Yurchenko Full, the maximum score for that vault and Arkansas’ first-ever perfect mark. Brooks helped guide freshman Lauren Williams to All-SEC honors after she scored a 9.900 at the conference meet, and Williams also earned an individual NCAA Championships berth on vault, the Gymbacks’ first since 2014.

Three of the top 11 bars marks came in 2022 alone, which included a new team regional best of 49.450, the seventh-highest score ever. At regionals, Brooks led sixth-year Hog Sarah Shaffer to a 9.950 outing on bars, which earned her a berth to NCAA Championships, Arkansas’ second consecutive bars qualifier and fourth ever.

In the 2022 regular season, Brooks guided Arkansas to marks of 49.500 and 49.550, which are the program’s third- and second-highest ever, The Gymbacks captured at least a share of three regular season bars titles and placed within the top three on bars in all but three meets. Along with Felicia Hano, Brooks was named a Regional Co-Assistant Coach of the Year by the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association for his efforts in the 2022 slate.

In 2021, graduate transfer Maggie O’Hara made Arkansas history as the first Gymback to secure a spot as a regular season All-American on bars, closing out the regular season with an NQS of 9.925 on bars and ranked 11th in the nation to earn second-team All-America. After helping coach the Gymbacks to two record-breaking wins over Mizzou and Auburn, Brooks’ bars team scored a 49.375 at NCAA Regionals on day one, then the second-highest by the Hogs in postseason program history. During the regular season, Arkansas had three top-10 program scores on bars, ranking as high as No. 3 in the event by Road to Nationals.

Brooks spent the 2018 season as an assistant men’s gymnastics coach at the University of Oklahoma, and the 2017 season in a similar role for University of Nebraska women’s gymnastics. In 2016, Brooks made his Olympic debut in Rio after serving as an alternate on the 2012 London team and claiming first on the parallel bars and second in the all-around and on the high bar at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.  Brooks was selected by his teammates to serve as the captain of the U.S. Men’s Olympic gymnastics team and placed 14th in the individual all-around competition in Rio de Janeiro.

He claimed the Winter Cup all-around title in 2010 and was a member of the World Championships team in 2010 and 2015. Before announcing his retirement in Aug. 2017, Brooks finished first on high bar at the 2017 Winter Cup. Brooks, a member of the Sooners’ squad from 2006-2009, won two national championships as a Student-Athlete at OU in 2006 and 2008, was a seven-time All-American (including three on high bar), a 2006 MPSF Conference high bar champion, and served as captain of the team as a senior in 2009.