Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber was introduced as the head coach of the Arkansas Women’s Gymnastics program on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek.
Wieber is a familiar name in the gymnastics community after a prolific career as a competitor, including earning a gold medal as part of Team USA in the 2012 Olympics. Since finishing her competitive career, Wieber has served as an assistant for legendary UCLA coach Valorie Kondos Field, helping lead the Bruins to the 2018 NCAA Championship.
From the moment she stepped on campus, Wieber coached the Razorbacks to a high level of consistency. Arkansas scored a 49.00 or higher in 14 of 16 events over the course of four home meets, nearly 90% of all events. On the floor, the Gymbacks ranked as high as fourth in the nation and finished the season ninth in the nation. It was against No. 13 Kentucky on Jan. 24 that Arkansas scored a 49.525 on the floor, the second-highest event total in program history. The Razorbacks’ success on the floor helped them lock in back-to-back SEC wins against No. 20 Missouri and No. 10 Georgia mid-way through the season. The consecutive wins marked the first time since 2017 that Arkansas won two-straight conference meets and consecutive meets against a ranked opponent.
During her first season at the helm, Wieber coached two regular-season All-Americans in Sophia Carter and Kennedy Hambrick. Carter finished the season ranked 11th on the floor while Hambrick closed out her sophomore campaign ranked 16th in the all-around. Arkansas saw six Gymbacks wrap up the season ranked in the top 100 by Road to Nationals in at least one event, with four Hogs finishing with multiple top 100 rankings. With Wieber’s lead, Arkansas won 27 event titles through 10 meets. Hambrick finished the season with the most individual titles among the Gymbacks, securing 11 event titles including a team-high four all-around titles.
The first home meet of the Wieber era was held on Jan. 17 against No.3 Denver, bringing a record crowd of 6,714 fans to Barnhill Arena. On Feb. 21, Coach Wieber and her Arkansas squad hosted Auburn for a Women’s Empowerment Meet, the first of its kind in NCAA gymnastics. 5,224 fans gathered at Barnhill Arena for Women’s Empowerment night, the ninth highest attendance in program history, making it the third top-10 attendance for 2020 alone. All-in-all, 21,661 fans saw the Gymbacks in action in Barnhill in 2020. The average attendance of 5,415 fans per meet is a program record, approximately 2,400 more than the 2019 average and over 1,000 more than the previous record, set in year two (2004), when an average of 4,401 Gymback fans attended each meet. The Razorbacks finished ninth in the nation for average attendance, making it the ninth time Arkansas finished the season ranked in the top-10 for attendance.
Beyond the gym, Wieber has served as an outspoken advocate for victims of child sexual abuse. Wieber has used the platform of gymnastics to encourage and inspire generations of young girls and others around the nation.
Wieber wrapped up her third season as a volunteer assistant coach at UCLA and her sixth with the program, assisting the team in a variety of roles during her first three years in Westwood following her Olympic career.
Wieber coached the Bruins on floor exercise, an event in which UCLA finished the 2018 and 2019 regular seasons ranked No. 1 in the nation. In 2019, the Bruins recorded scores of 49.5 or better in 11 of 14 meets, averaging a national-best 49.604 on floor. UCLA hit a season-high 49.825 on March 16, which ranks No. 3 all-time in school history, behind five scores of 9.925 or better in that meet, including two perfect 10s. The floor squad also posted marks of 49.775 (March 23) and 49.750 (Feb. 16) over the course of the year, as four Bruins earned regular season All-America honors in the event – Katelyn Ohashi, Kyla Ross, Gracie Kramer and Felicia Hano.
At the NCAA Championships on April 19-20, Wieber coached Ross to the individual floor title with a score of 9.950, the program’s second in as many years after Ohashi took home the crown in 2018. After winning their semifinal session with a 197.650 (49.6125 in the floor), UCLA finished third overall in the finals.
The 2018 Bruins scored 49.4 or higher in 11 meets and 49.6 or higher in three meets, including a national season-high of 49.775 set Feb. 25. She and her fellow UCLA coaches were named the 2018 West Region Assistant Coaches of the Year, as they helped lead the Bruins to Pac-12, NCAA regional and NCAA national titles.
Wieber, who has been a vocal advocate for safe sport, has won several awards in the past year, including the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs, the Rising Star Award by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and the Giant Steps A Hero Among Us Award.
A member of the “Fierce Five” United States squad that won team gold at the 2012 Olympics, Wieber was a two-time U.S. allaround champion (2011 and 2012) and the 2011 World all-around champion. Her illustrious Elite Career included three medals (all-around and team gold, beam bronze) at the 2011 World Championships, four U.S. senior national titles (all-around, bars and floor in 2011 and all-around in 2012). She was also the 2008 U.S. junior all-around, vault and floor exercise champion and the American Cup all-around champion in 2009, 2011 and 2012. She dominated the competition at the 2010 Pacific Rim Championships, winning four gold medals (all-around, uneven bars, floor exercise, team) and one silver (vault). In her first international competition at the 2007 Junior Pan American Championships, she won gold medals on uneven bars and balance beam, silver in the all-around and bronze on floor exercise. Wieber officially retired from competitive gymnastics in 2015.
Wieber, from DeWitt, Mich., graduated from UCLA in 2017 with a degree in Psychology. She was a 2016 inductee into the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame and is also a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame as a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.