Rob Drass resigns as MU gymnastics coach

By Katie Pohlman

Tags: Gymnastics

PUBLISHED AS A PART OFMANEATER V. 79, ISSUE 49

Drass brought great improvement to the team throughout his 14 years at MU.

Missouri gymnastics coach Rob Drass resigned from his position Wednesday. Effective immediately, assistant coach Jennifer Green will act as interim coach.

“Each team is evaluated after each semester,” athletic department spokesman Chad Moller said. “And it was just decided on both sides that it would be better for (Drass) to step down.”

Green will act as interim head coach until the athletic department selects a new coach to take over the position for next season.

Drass, Green and the Missouri gymnastics team declined to be interviewed.

Drass has coached at MU for 14 years, with his first season being in 2000. In that time, he led the Tigers to 11 consecutive NCAA Regional appearances between 2002 and 2012. In 2010, he led the squad to its first regional title and NCAA Championships appearance in program history.

Drass also encouraged his gymnasts to perform well in the classroom and in the community. Several gymnasts received academic honors during his time at MU ranging from Scholastic All-American members to Academic Big-12 first team members.

This past season freshman Miranda Eubank was named to the 2013 All-Freshman Team while senior Tori Howard and juniors Taylor Medrea and Mackenzie McGill were named to the All-Southeastern Conference Team. Senior Sandra Ostad was also named to the 2013 SEC Gymnastics Community Service Team for her participation in the community of Columbia.

Moving to the SEC, home of the best gymnastics in the nation, this year proved a big challenge for Missouri gymnastics. The team went 0-7 in conference competitions and 3-11 overall. This season also marked the first time the Missouri gymnastics has not qualified for NCAA Regionals since the 2001 season.

In a press release sent out by the athletic department, Associate Athletic Director Colleen Lamond said it is time for the program to take a different direction and have a new leadership for the gymnasts.

There is no word as to what Drass will do next year.

The athletic department has not set a specific timeline for hiring a new head coach. The department will announce the job opening next week and it will begin to receive inquiries. The department will also reach out to different coaching organizations to find out if any coaches are in search of a job, Moller said.

Moller said after the department has received what it deems a sufficient number of applications, they will start interviewing and doing background checks of the potential coaches.

“We’re look for someone who fits the Mizzou brand, someone who is hardworking, who has a track of success and who will push the girls to succeed in the classroom and community as well as on the floor,” Moller said.

He said the athletic department hopes to have a new coach in time for preseason next year but will not rush the hiring process.

Moller said the impact of Drass’ term at MU will never be forgotten.

“Rob did a lot of great things for the program,” Moller said. “He took over the program when it was down and brought it up to the level it is at now.”

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