Longtime associate head coach Chris Waller has been named the new head coach of the UCLA gymnastics team, director of athletics Dan Guerrero announced today. Waller succeeds retiring head coach Valorie Kondos Field.

“Chris Waller has been an integral member of the UCLA gymnastics coaching staff for the past 17 seasons, helping to build the culture of the program to where it is today, and playing a major role in the team’s success,” said Guerrero. “As a Bruin All-American, NCAA champion, U.S. Olympian and Olympic coach, Chris has a strong pedigree and is recognized as one of the top technical coaches in America. He is incredibly deserving of the opportunity to lead UCLA gymnastics into the future as our head coach.”

One of the United States’ all-time gymnastics greats, Waller was a member of the national team from 1989-97 and captured the U.S. all-around crown in 1991 and the pommel horse titles from 1991-93. He was an all-around finalist at the 1992 Olympic Games. As a UCLA gymnast, Waller earned four All-America honors and helped the Bruins capture the NCAA team title in 1987. Waller graduated from UCLA in 1991 and had 15 years of prior coaching experience before joining the staff.

“It was my great honor to have worked alongside Miss Val for 17 years, and to take the helm of this storied program is a dream come true,” Waller said. “The lessons that she has taught our student-athletes over her tenure I have also learned. I am incredibly fortunate to have my first team as head coach be one that is filled with unquestionable leadership and talent. I have been a part of this Bruin family since 1987 as a freshman on the NCAA championship team and have been on this campus for the better part of 30 years. My blood runs Bruin blue, and I cannot wait to continue this journey.”

Read the UCLA Athletics news release