LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After a successful five-year stint as an assistant coach at perennial national championship contender Nebraska, Tim Garrison has been named as the head coach of the University of Kentucky women’s gymnastics team, UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart announced Thursday.
“Tim Garrison is a great fit for this university and our gymnastics program,” Barnhart said. “Tim has all of the essentials that we look for in a head coach and he knows what it takes to get this program to the next level. During his time at Nebraska, he helped lead the program to three NCAA national competitions and two Super Six appearances. He is a terrific person and I look forward to the success that he will have here at the University of Kentucky.”
Garrison, who is the third head coach in the history of the Wildcat program, comes to UK after helping the Huskers reach new heights in the program with two NCAA Super Six appearances and two Big 12 Conference championships. The native of Conroe, Texas, served as the Huskers’ vault, floor exercise and strength and conditioning coach, while also helping in all facets of recruiting.
“The University of Kentucky has a proud tradition of athletics and I absolutely cannot wait to become a part of it,” Garrison said. “I appreciate those that were here before me that worked hard to get the program to where it is today. Now it is my job to make sure that we take this program to the next level and I am confident that we will. I really like the challenge of competing in the best gymnastics conference in the country and we are excited about climbing the Southeastern Conference ladder.”
In his five years at Nebraska, Garrison was responsible for producing 10 NCAA All-Americans, while his vault and floor teams consistently ranked as one of the top-10 teams in the nation. In 2011, Garrison helped lead the Huskers back to the NCAA Super Six Finals, where they matched their best finish in school history, finishing fourth. Two of Garrison’s vault performers ended the individual finals in the top five, while two other gymnasts were in the top 12 on floor.
In his first year on the job in Lincoln in 2007, Garrison’s vault team finished sixth in the nation, while the floor squad was in the top five of the final rankings. In 2009, Nebraska was ranked sixth nationally on floor and in 2010 the Huskers were fifth on vault. Garrison’s vault and floor teams had an excellent season in 2011 with the Huskers finishing among the nation’s best on vault (third) and floor (seventh). Nebraska made the NCAA Tournament in each of Garrison’s five years, advancing to nationals three times.
Prior to Nebraska, Garrison developed a reputation as one of the most successful club coaches in the country, serving as a head coach for SCEGA Gymnastics in Temecula, Calf. – one of the largest and most thriving gymnastics teams in the nation. While with SCEGA, Garrison produced 27 national champions, 10 Junior Olympic National Team members and four Elite National Team members. In 2001, Garrison coached Rachel Tidd to the World Championships in Ghent, Belgium, where she captured a team bronze medal and finished eighth on beam. Garrison and his wife, Rachel, have served as the directors for the Nebraska School of Gymnastics where they successfully increased the enrollment in the program from 40 participants to over 170 members.
Garrison graduated from California State University at Fullerton in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education. The Garrisons have three daughters: Rayley, Taige and Teagan; and one son: Reece.
Garrison fills the vacant head coaching position that opened last October. Assistant coaches Chuck Dickerson and Heather Hite led the program during the 2011 season.