Honors and Awards
One of gymnastics most highly decorated competitors of all time, Jim Hartung enters his 13th season as the Nebraska assistant coach. Hartung has dedicated his life to bettering the sport he loves. Over the last 30 years, Hartung has worked in all aspects of the gymnastics community from competing to judging and now coaching, and has earned a level of success paralleled by few in his field.
In 2017, Hartung helped lead the Huskers to the team finals at the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1999, where the team finished sixth nationally. Austin Epperson and Kyle King each grabbed All-American honors in 2017. Additionally, Anton Stephenson claimed the Big Ten vault title at the Big Ten Championships, becoming the program's first conference champion since 2002. Hartung also helped Chris Stephenson claim NCAA Gymnast-of-the-Week accolades in 2017.
In 2015 and 2016, Hartung helped Ethan Lottman earn All-America honors on pommel horse. In 2016, Hartung also played a vital role in freshman all-arounder Anton Stephenson's success. Stephenson placed seventh on parallel bars at the NCAA Championships and earned All-America honors. Additionally, the team finished seventh overall, its highest finish since 1999.
A protégé of the prestigious Omaha Sokol gymnastics club in Omaha, Hartung came to the University of Nebraska as a freshman gymnast in 1979 and made an outstanding debut onto the collegiate scene under head coach Francis Allen. Hartung garnered All-America status on five of six events during his freshman season and went on to amass a total of 22 All-America awards and seven NCAA individual titles over the next three years. His accolades included a pair of all-around titles in 1980 and 1981.
Hartung also led the Huskers to their first four NCAA team titles and consequently became Nebraska's first Nissen-Emery Award winner in 1982. The Omaha native finished his collegiate career as the most highly decorated gymnast in Nebraska history and still owns the program's all-around record of 58.55 which he earned in 1981.
His tremendous collegiate career led Hartung to the Olympics before he even had a diploma in hand, as he was first selected to the U.S. team in 1980. Hartung repeated the honor in 1984 after graduating from NU. He helped the United States to its first and only team gold medal at the summer games in Los Angeles, Calif.
After competing in the Olympics as an athlete, Hartung went on to spend nearly a decade as a visitation coach for the U.S. national team and became one of the top 10 gymnastics judges in the world.
In his first year with the Huskers in 2006, Hartung made an immediate impact. His hands-on work ethic and knowledge of gymnastics technique brought a new level of training to the Nebraska gymnastics program.
Hartung has four children, Jim, Nick, Jake and Hannah.