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Bill Sands

Class of 2024· Disciplines(s): Women's Artistic· Inducted as: Contributor Lifetime Achievement

As a longtime professor and sports scientist in multiple Olympic sports, Dr. Bill Sands was an integral part of the sport of gymnastics as an athlete, coach, academic, author and scientist. He was the Director of Research and Development for USA Gymnastics from 1987 to 1995, served on the Scientific Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) from 2009 to 2016, and has authored 13 books, 50 book chapters, and over 100 peer-reviewed research articles. He also was Director of Education for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Senior Physiologist and Head of Sport Biomechanics and Engineering at the USOPC, and the developer and leader of the USOPC Recovery Center. Dr. Sands served as Department Chair of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at California Lutheran University, a sports science professor at East Tennessee State University and served as chairman of the U.S. Elite Coaches Association for Women’s Gymnastics for 31 years. During the 1980s as an international coach, Dr. Sands coached many National Team members, including Olympian Kathy Johnson Clarke, 1984 Olympic alternate Marie Roethlisberger, and two-time World team member Christa Canary, and he served as the assistant coach for the 1979 World Championships. As a collegiate coach at the University of Utah from 1983 to 1988, he was part of four NCAA National Championships. Before his academic career, Sands was an accomplished gymnast, earning All-American, MVP, Co-captain, and NAIA Gymnast of the Year honors at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Now semi-retired, Dr. Sands has one daughter, Hailey, and he lives in Colorado with his partner, Chere, and dog, Zellie. Dr. Sands remains connected to the gymnastics community by teaching and mentoring coaches on the science of gymnastics.