Known for advocating safety and his Pond Twisting Belt, Coach Charlie Pond was a benefactor of not only the University of Illinois, where he coached for 25 years but also the gymnastics world as a whole.
Pond coached men and women at all levels during his career, 10 of which— six men and four women— went on to the Olympics. While at Illinois, his teams collected four NCAA Team Championships and 11 Big Ten Championships.
His development of the Pond Twisting Belt, used for safely harnessing gymnasts to teach aerial twists and flips, is a tool utilized in gyms worldwide. Pond was a FIG-certified judge and published author of articles and books on the sport.