INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 7, 2016 – USA Gymnastics today announced that Ryan Ward of Corona, Calif., has been named Acrobatic Gymnastics Program Director. Ward, who was the 2015 FIG Mixed Pair World Cup Series Champion and bronze medalist at the 2014 World Championships in mixed pair, will oversee the acrobatic gymnastics program, including the elite and developmental levels. He will work closely with the acrobatic community to continue to grow the discipline in the United States. Ward, who will be based in Indianapolis and begins on Dec. 19, will report to Luan Peszek, vice president of program development for USA Gymnastics.

“It is exciting to welcome Ryan as the new Acrobatic Program Director,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “His passion and recent success at the highest level make him especially qualified to lead the program at this time.  We are confident that he will have a positive impact on the program.”

“I am excited about this wonderful opportunity to continue the growth and development of acrobatic gymnastics in the USA,” said Ward.  “I look forward to working with our athletes, coaches, staff and committees, and the entire acrobatic community to increase participation and opportunities in the sport, as well as excel in the international arena.”

Prior to joining USA Gymnastics, Ward has worked for T-Mobile for more than five years, most recently as a store manager.  He also has coached at Realis Gymnastics Academy in Moreno Valley, Calif.

Ward was a nine-year member of the U.S. Acrobatic Gymnastics National Team. A five-time U.S. champion (2010-14), he earned the USA’s first-ever World Cup acrobatic gymnastics crown. Ward received three consecutive USA Gymnastics Athlete of the Year honors (2013-15), and placed third on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” as a member of Acro Army. International accolades include: 2015 Geneva World Cup champion, 2015 Varna World Cup gold medalist, 2015 Maia World Cup bronze medalist, 2014 Mais World Cup gold medalist, and 2013 Sofia World Cup champion.