Burde Named UF Assist. Gymnastics Coach

Gainesville, FL Adrian Burde (bur-DAY) will join the University of Florida gymnastics staff as an assistant coach, Florida Head Coach Rhonda Faehn announced Thursday. Burde brings coaching experience from the collegiate, club and international levels to the Gator program.

"Adrian will be an outstanding addition to our staff. His coaching ability is well thought of by both coaches and gymnasts," Faehn said. "I was fortunate to work with Adrian for one year at Nebraska. It was obvious then the strength he would bring to any program. He has shown a tremendous talent for coaching while at the collegiate and club level. I'm very excited to bring his expertise to the Gator gymnastics program. I feel the combination of Adrian with Robert (Ladanyi, current UF assistant coach) will give the Gators one of the best coaching staffs in the country.

"Although he coached vault and floor at Nebraska, he has tremendous knowledge and expertise in coaching the uneven bars. I feel confident that the Gators will continue to be a strong bars team under his guidance," Faehn continued. "I am very happy that Adrian has decided to become a member of the Gator coaching staff."

At Florida, Burde will coach uneven bars, as well as aid in recruiting and team conditioning. He was named the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC) Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003.

Burde, 32, will be reunited with Faehn, as both were members of the University of Nebraska coaching staff for the 2002 season. In his five seasons with the Cornhuskers, the team advanced to four NCAA Super Six team finals (2002, '03, '05, '06), earning its highest of fourth in 2003.

Burde, who coached the Cornhusker's vault and floor performers, saw UN performers earn a total of 19 All-America honors in the two events over the last five seasons. In 2003, UN's Richelle Simpson claimed the NCAA all-around and floor exercise titles. Simpson represented her native Canada at several top international events and Burde coached her at the 2003 World Championships.

Nebraska won the Big 12 team titles in 2002, '03 and '05. Cornhusker gymnasts claimed at least a share of the Big 12 titles for vault in 2006, '03 and '02 and floor in 2005, '03 and '02.

Prior to joining Nebraska, Burde was the head girls' program coach for the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy. He coached Level 10 and elite international gymnasts, including U.S. National Team members Larissa Stewart and Lori Wynn.

"Coaching at Florida is an opportunity that I couldn't pass up," Burde said. "The program's potential is limitless because there is so much to offer the top recruits as far as academics, facilities and of course, the weather. The three of us (Rhonda Faehn and Robert Ladanyi) all share the goal of winning a national championship. That is what we will have the Gators focused on in the upcoming seasons."

"I'd like to say thank you to the Nebraska program for giving me the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level," he continued. "Dan (Kendig, UN Head Coach), the team and the rest of the staff were awesome to work with. I wish them well in the future."

Burde began his coaching career in his native Romania in 1994 and was a Junior National team coach until 1999. During his time with the Romania Junior National Team, Burde coached three seasons with current UF Assistant Coach Robert Ladanyi. The two have known each other since their competitive gymnastics days.

In 1997, he joined the staff of Steaua Bucharest, the top junior club in Romania and helped guide the team to the 1998 national title, which includes a sweep of the top four places in the all-around. At Steaua Bucharest, Burde worked with Eliza Stoica, who coached the Romanian national team to a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

An accomplished gymnast in his own right, Burde was a member of the Romanian Junior National Team from 1988 to 1992. He joined the French club team Aix les Bains in 1992, and captured the all-around title at the 1994 French national meet. Aside from competing for the club, Burde helped coach younger gymnasts.

In addition, Burde has coached national and international athletes in three countries. He graduated from the Romanian National School of Coaching in 1996 with a degree in International High Level Gymnastics.

Burde will replace Randy Lane, who has been with the Gator gymnastics program for the past four seasons. Lane is exploring other collegiate coaching opportunities.

The Gator gymnastics team finished fourth at the 2006 NCAA Championships and claimed the NCAA South Central Region team title.

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