Long-Time Men's Gymnastics Coach Retires

University of Minnesota men's gymnastics head coach Fred Roethlisberger announced his retirement this week, concluding a 33-year career as the Golden Gophers head coach.

During his 33 years as a coach at Minnesota, Fred Roethlisberger became one of the most accomplished and respected collegiate gymnastics coaches of all-time. He coached 51 individual Big Ten Conference champions and 22 All-Americans, in addition to, averaging a conference team championship once every three years since 1972.

"I am thankful for my years of service to the University of Minnesota," Roethlisberger said. "I have had the opportunity to coach some tremendous young men and be a part of some very special moments. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished with our gymnastics program during that time."

Most notably, Roethlisberger coached his son, John, from 1990-93. John was a three-time NCAA all-around champion and four-time All-Big Ten honoree during that time. He went on to become a four-time national all-around champion after college and participated in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic games. Roethlisberger's daughter, Marie, also competed at Minnesota before representing the United States on the 1984 Olympic team and the 1983 and 1985 World Championship teams. Marie was a four-time letterwinner and All-Big Ten performer with the Golden Gophers from 1987-90. She was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year for three straight seasons (1987-90).

"Having John and Marie at the University of Minnesota was something very special," Roethlisberger said. "I am extremely proud of what they accomplished and how they represented themselves and the University."

Roethlisberger's teams won 11 Big Ten championships during his tenure, including five consecutive titles from 1976-1980. He also coached the Gophers to three consecutive conference crowns from 1990-1992. Roethlisberger's other Big Ten crowns came during the 1982, 1984 and 1995 seasons. For his efforts, Roethlisberger was named Big Ten Coach of the Year three straight seasons (1990-92) and again in 1995.

Roethlisberger was also named Mideast Region Coach of the Year five times (1972, '78, '89, '90, '92) and was named the United States Gymnastics Federation Coach of the Year in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1995. His program earned 22 top-10 NCAA final rankings, including a second-place finish at the 1992 NCAA Championships.

Internationally, Roethlisberger coached the United States to a gold medal at the 1994 World Championships and was an assistant coach on the 1992 U.S. Olympic team. As a competitor, Roethlisberger was the second-highest scorer for the United States at the 1968 Olympic Games and captained the 1967 Pan American team, winning gold medals in the all-around, high bar and parallel bars. Roethlisberger is a member of the U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

"Coach Roethlisberger has been the standard of men's gymnastics coaches for 33 years," Director of Athletics Joel Maturi said. "His ability to maintain a high level of success during that time is extremely impressive. We are thankful for everything he has done for the University and the athletic department."

Assistant Coach Russ Fystrom has been named Interim Head Coach until a search to name a permanent head coach can be conducted.

Roethlisberger at a Glance
* 11 Big Ten Conference Championships (1976, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82, 84, 90, 91, 92, 95)
* Coached 51 Individual Big Ten Championships
* Coached 22 All-Americans
* Four-time Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year (1990, 91, 92, 95)
* Four-time United States Gymnastics Federation Coach of the Year (1990, 92, 93, 95)
* U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame member
* 1992 U.S. Olympic team assistant coach
* Coached U.S. team to the 1994 World Championship
* 1968 U.S. Olympic team member




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