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Aug. 31, 2005

What about Ohio State made you most attracted to the university when you decided to come here?
That I would have the opportunity to work with some of the best gymnasts in the country. I would also have an opportunity to have a team win a Division I national championship and to coach Olympians.

What one person had the biggest impact on the coaching style that you have today?
My high school football coach Ralph Ricappito. He instilled in me that as a coach you need to respect your players and they in turn will respect you, and want to work really hard for you. I never wanted to disappoint my football coach and I love it when I know that my athletes don’t want to disappoint me.

Would you rather see one of your athletes win an NCAA championship or make the Olympic team?
It would definitely be to make an Olympic team. If a gymnast is good enough to make an Olympic team then he is one of the best gymnasts in the world. An Olympian will help our team win more than if someone is only good enough to be the NCAA national champion. As for teams, that one is so very hard to call. I want the Ohio State team to win NCAA championships but I also want our country to win the Olympics. Hopefully our team will win NCAA championships, and there will be lots of Buckeyes on the Olympic team, and they win also.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment as an athlete?
Without a doubt making my first USA Sr. National team in 1981 after practically starting gymnastics in college.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishment as a coach?
Coaching the Ohio State team to the NCAA national title in St. John Arena in 2001 and coaching Paul Hamm to an Olympic gold medal in 2004.

Other than gymnastics, what is your favorite sport to watch?
You could include gymnastics and my favorite sport to watch would still be football. GO BUCKS!!!!!

What is the one thing that surprised you the most when you got to Ohio State?
The administrative support given to the sport, the athletes and to me.

Who is the greatest gymnast you’ve ever coached?
The greatest gymnast that I have ever coached is Paul Hamm.

The greatest gymnast that I have ever coached to compete for Ohio State is Blaine Wilson.

What was your favorite event to participate in?
Olympics included, it is the NCAA national championships. The NCAA athletes train together for years. The coaches work with those athletes for years and it is so rewarding to see the team win together. For the Olympics the team is only put together in the Olympic year.

What is one thing the average sports fan does not know about gymnastics?
That gymnastics is kinda like football in that gymnasts love a loud and rowdy crowd. The more noise and excitement that the fans bring the better the gymnasts perform.