Lincoln, Neb. -- Head coach Dan Kendig announced Monday the hiring of former Husker great and two-time NCAA Champion Heather Brink as assistant coach for the Nebraska women's gymnastics team. An 11-time All-American, Brink will take over as beam coach and assist with floor choreography and numerous operational responsibilities within the program. Brink replaces former NU associate head coach Danna Durante, who took the reins as head coach at the University of California last month.
"I'm excited," Kendig said. "I came close to hiring Heather back in 2003; this is a dream job for her. She is a very talented coach and has been coached by some of the best, including Peggy Liddick, one of the best coaches in the world right now. I believe Heather will bring a vast amount of knowledge to the program that will help us immensely in the coming years. Nobody is going to come here and have the passion that she has, having been an athlete here at Nebraska and being a national champion. Her passion and knowledge will definitely help us in long run. I'm just excited to have her on board; she is a very good coach."
Brink, who competed for the Huskers from 1997-2000, permanently etched her name into the Nebraska record books by winning two national titles at the 2000 NCAA Championships in Boise, Idaho. Brink became the first Husker female to win an all-around national title and the second to win a vault national title in leading the Huskers to the Super Six Finals and a fourth-place national finish. Brink was selected as the Honda Award winner in 2000, representing the nation's top female collegiate gymnast. She holds numerous Nebraska individual records, including seventh on the all-time all-around scores list. Brink became the first Husker gymnast to score a 10.0, eventually recording three such perfect scores during her senior season. She closed her collegiate career as one of the most decorated gymnasts in school history, earning two NCAA titles, 11 All-America awards, six regional titles and eight conference crowns.
"I'm from Lincoln and I grew up watching Nebraska gymnastics," Brink said. "I wanted to come back home when I decided to attend college here. Nebraska has always been special to me and has been a passion of mine and gymnastics will always be a passion for me. Nebraska is my home; I feel like this is where I'm meant to be. I would not want to coach anywhere else. Dan (Kendig) has provided a huge opportunity for me to live out my dream job and provide my passion to the sport and the program here at Nebraska. Dan and I have a great relationship from when he was my coach here. I know him on a working level, and I think that will provide a good working relationship for the two of us and success for the Nebraska gymnastics program."
Prior to joining the Nebraska staff, Brink worked for Ameritas in Lincoln as a pension administration specialist. She graduated from Nebraska in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and human resource management. Heather and her husband, Jon, have a son, Jaxon (4) and are expecting a baby in November.
Nebraska, which returns six All-Americans in 2012, will open competition for their first year in the Big Ten Conference in January.
Nebraska Student Coach (2001)
Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics; Phoenix, Ariz. (2001-2006)
Nebraska School of Gymnastics; Lincoln, Neb. (2006-present)
University of Nebraska (1997-2000)