Heather Brink was named the fifth head coach in the history of Nebraska women's gymnastics in February of 2019. Brink started the 2019 season as the program's interim head coach following three seasons on the Husker staff as Nebraska's associate head coach. Overall, Brink is in her eighth season on the Husker coaching staff in 2019 including her earlier stint as assistant coach from 2011-15. She was also an 11-time All-American at Nebraska.
In her first season as head coach, Brink coached 12 different Huskers who set or tied career highs over the course of the season, including 45 career highs that were broken. She coached the team's highest team score since 2013 with a score of 197.625, which also ties the the sixth highest team score of all time in NU's history. The Huskers sent two student athletes to the NCAA championships as well for individual competition.
She has not only helped develop one of the most talented beam squads in the nation during her tenure on Nebraska's staff, but Brink has also demonstrated unprecedented leadership in and out of the gym. With over 30 years of gymnastics experience, Brink plays an important role in recruiting, program development and team building. Her dedication to the rich program tradition is unparalleled, as she looks to continue leading the Huskers to success in the years to come.
Brink helped Nebraska to a sixth-place national finish in 2018, when the Huskers produced eight All-America awards. Brink helped Taylor Houcin and Grace Williams to second-team All-America honors on beam. NU posted a seventh-place national finish in 2017, and the Huskers won a Big Ten regular-season championship. Brink coached Danielle Breen to second-team All-America honors on beam, as Breen finished tied for sixth at the NCAA Semifinal with a score of 9.900. The Husker beam squad came up clutch in two of NU's most important meets of the season, as Nebraska finished on the event at both the B1G Five meet and the NCAA Lincoln Regional. At the B1G Five meet, NU clinched the Big Ten regular season title following Grace Williams' career-high 9.95. The Huskers needed a strong beam performance at the regional to advance to the NCAA Championships, and Williams posted a 9.90 and Breen scored a career-high 9.95 to seal the trip to nationals. At the NCAA Semifinal, NU posted a season-high 49.3000 on the event, led by Breen's score. Brink also helped Ashley Lambert to a pair of second-team All-America honors on vault and floor and Sienna Crouse to first-team recognition on vault.
In 2016, Brink's first season as associate head coach, Nebraska finished eighth nationally at the NCAA Championships. The Huskers' beam squad was among the strongest in the country, ranking in the top-10 for most of the season. Williams captured eight beam titles on the season, including the Big Ten beam title. Brink also helped Hollie Blanske to first-team All-America honors on vault and second-team All-America honors on floor exercise and in the all-around.
In 2015, Brink helped guide the Huskers to an eighth-place national finish and a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. Nebraska's beam lineup posted a season-high score of 49.475 at the B1G Five qualifier, while the Huskers captured six individual beam titles on the season. Brink was instrumental in helping to develop Blanske, Jessie DeZiel and Lambert into All-America performers in the 2015 season.
Brink helped Nebraska's beam lineup to a record-breaking performance at the 2014 NCAA Championships, as the Huskers posted a 49.450 to secure their spot in the Super Six finals. In addition, Blanske, DeZiel, Jamie Schleppenbach and Emily Wong took home All-America honors on the event. NU collected nine event titles on beam including a Big Ten champion in Wong.
Brink contributed to Nebraska's continued success in 2013 as the Huskers claimed 13 beam titles including the Big Ten Championship beam title with Wong and Jennifer Lauer posting 9.90 scores. Wong went on to claim second-team All-America accolades on the event.
In her first season as an assistant with the Huskers in 2012, Brink helped coach Wong to first-team All-America honors on beam. Brink's assistance with NU's floor routines also guided DeZiel to first-team All-America honors and Wong to second-team honors on the event.
Brink, who competed for the Huskers from 1997 to 2000, permanently etched her name in 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. Brink owns the third-highest uneven bars score in program history and the eighth-highest all-around score. She became the first Husker gymnast to score a 10.0, and recorded three 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. Brink was inducted into the University of Nebraska Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.
Prior to joining the Nebraska staff, Brink worked for Ameritas in Lincoln as a pension administration specialist. Brink is a 2001 graduate of Nebraska with a bachelor's degree in business administration and human resource management. Heather and her husband, Jon, have a two sons, Jaxon and Hunter.