ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Kip Simons, a decorated head coach at Air Force and Olympic performer, was announced on Monday as the new head gymnastics coach at Navy by Chet Gladchuk, Naval Academy Director of Athletics. Simons comes to Annapolis after 10 years as the head coach of a Falcons’ team that reached new heights nationally and became a perennial top-10 program.
“Kip is unquestionably one of the finest gymnastics coaches in the sport at any level,” remarked Gladchuk. “He has proven to be at the top of his game every step of his remarkable career. We are extremely fortunate that he and his family have chosen to come East, continue his legacy of excellence in Annapolis and join a program that remains focused on being fully committed to successfully compete at the Division I level. His appointment further reinforces our commitment to provide the midshipmen with outstanding coaches and educators who are not only proven winners, but most importantly fully understand our mission at large. I am confident he will do a remarkable job continuing the respected traditions of success so effectively established within Navy gymnastics by the legendary Coach Sho Fukushima.”
“I am honored to be selected as the head coach of the gymnastics program at the Naval Academy,” said Simons. “This program was carried on the shoulders of great coaches such as Lewis Mang, Chet Phillips, Bill Savering, Peter Kormann and Sho Fukushima and I look forward to carrying the torch.
“Spending the past 10 years building the program at the Air Force Academy, I fully respect and embrace our mission of developing officers of character to lead this great nation. I look forward to working with our leadership to create the synergistic environment required to maximize the development of my midshipmen both on and off the field of competition.”
An internationally renown gymnast since 1988, Simons was a four-year member of the United States Senior National team and competed on two world championship teams, as well as with the gold medal winning teams at the 1994 Goodwill Games and 1995 Pan-American Games. His competitive career culminated with a spot on the 1996 United States Olympic team. At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Simons was a member of the U.S. team that finished fifth overall.