|Alma Mater:||Iowa State|
Email Coach Ball
Office - (405) 325-8336
Assistant coach Lou Ball enters his 14th season with Oklahoma women's gymnastics in 2020 as the primary coach on vault and co-coach on uneven bars.
The 2010 National Assistant Coach of the Year along with fellow OU assistant coach Tom Haley, Ball has aided OU to nine top-three finishes at the NCAA Championships in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, including Oklahoma's first-ever NCAA championship effort in 2014 and second, third and fourth title runs in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. The Sooners also notched NCAA runner-up finishes in 2010, 2013 and 2018 and have finished no lower than third in the Super Six since their first appearance in 2010.
Ball has been named Region Assistant Coach of the Year eight times in his career and has helped OU to 11 Big 12 Championships and 10 straight NCAA Regional titles.
OU has garnered 55 All-America honors on bars and vault under Ball's leadership, including 2017 Co-Bars National Champions, Nicole Lehrmann and Maggie Nichols, 2018 Co-Vault National Champion Brenna Dowell, 2018 Co-Bars National Champion Nichols and 2019 Co-Vault National Champion Nichols. Ball also coached Haley Scaman to a prolific vaulting career at Oklahoma, including top-five NCAA individual finishes in 2014 (third) and 2015 (third). Ball's efforts have also resulted in 13 Big 12 champions on bars and 11 on vault for the Sooners.
The 2019 Sooners picked up seven All-America accolades on vault and bars, led by the national championship performance from Nichols on vault. Nichols also received honors on bars, while Dowell (vault), Lehrmann (vault, bars), Thomas (bars) and Webb (bars) were recognized.
The team captured a total of 17 vault titles and 16 bar titles under Ball’s leadership, including a program-record 49.725 on bars against Florida. The Sooners became the first team since the devaluation of the Yurchenko full to field a lineup of six 10.0 start value vaults, securing a season-best 49.625 with six Yurchenko 1.5s.
Ball helped Nichols to a Big 12 title on bars. Nichols and Lehrman each recorded a perfect 10 on bars, while Nichols and Dowell scored perfect 10s on vault under Ball’s leadership.
The 2018 Sooners picked up seven All-America accolades on vault and bars, led by the national championship performances from Dowell and Nichols on vault and bars, respectively. Nichols also received honors on vault, while Stefani Catour (bars), Jade Degouveia (vault), Nicole Lehrmann (bars), and Bre Showers (vault) were recognized.
The team captured a total of 14 titles on vault and bars under Ball's leadership, including a program-record 49.725 on bars at the Big 12 Championships. The Sooners counted five scores of 9.9 or better, including four scores of 9.95 or better, highlighted by a 9.975 from Lehrmann to earn the Big 12 Championship. Nichols turned in a 10.0 on the bars at the NCAA Championships, just the seventh gymnast in NCAA history to do so.
The 2017 Sooners picked up six All-America accolades on vault and bars, led by the national-championship performances from Lehrmann and Nichols on the bars. Nichols also received honors on vault, while Capps (vault), Jackson (vault) and Catour (bars) were recognized.
The team captured a total of 14 titles on vault and 15 on bars under Ball’s leadership and exploded for a program-record 49.700 on bars at TWU. The event was highlighted by a pair of perfect 10.0s from Lehrmann and senior McKenzie Wofford, who became the first Sooners to post perfect marks on the same event in the same meet. Nichols also posted a 10.0 on bars in 2017 and turned in two perfect scores on vault in her freshman campaign.
In 2016, Ball coached four All-Americans on both vault and bars as he helped lead the Sooners to their second NCAA title. Earning first-team accolades on vault were Keeley Kmieciak, Hunter Price and Haley Scaman, while Capps snagged second-team honors. Capps was also a first-team honoree on bars along with Wofford and Lehrmann, and AJ Jackson received second-team recognition.
Ball’s gymnasts secured 12 team titles on vault and 16 on bars, highlighted by 10 individual bars crowns for Wofford. The Sooners twice set the then-program-best mark on bars (49.675) in 2016, doing so against Arizona and at the Big 12 Championship, fueled by Kmieciak’s perfect 10 on the apparatus, just the second in the history of the conference meet. Ball coached three Big 12 Champions (Kmieciak and Jackson on vault, Kmieciak on bars) and two NCAA Iowa City Regional Champions (Capps on vault, Wofford on bars).
Ball’s coaching efforts led Oklahoma to strong performances throughout the 2015 season on both vault and uneven bars. OU captured 11 team titles on vault and 13 on bars while totaling 32 individual event titles combined on the two events.
On vault, Ball guided an impressive four Sooners to All-America accolades, including first-team honors for Scaman and Jackson. Scaman posted a 10.0 on vault under Ball’s coaching during the regular season and finished third nationally on the event at NCAA event finals. Ball also guided Jackson to the Big 12 and NCAA Norman Regional individual titles on vault.
Several Sooners also shone on uneven bars under Ball’s guidance in 2015, including first-team All-Americans Brenna Dowell, Kmieciak and Wofford. Wofford had a dominant season, earning eight individual titles while finishing fourth nationally on bars at NCAA event finals. Dowell earned the nation’s first 10.0 on bars in January and Kmieciak enjoyed a stellar championship showing on the event as well. Ball also led Rebecca Clark to a share of the Big 12 title on uneven bars.
Ball helped lead Oklahoma to the best season in program history in 2014, coaching the Sooners to a first NCAA title, an NCAA Regional championship and a Big 12 title. Ball also led a resurgence of the Oklahoma vaulting corps in 2014. His Sooners averaged a program-best 49.475 over the course of the season on the event, winning 12 event titles throughout the season. OU notched five of the top six scores all-time for an Oklahoma team, including a program-record 49.700 at the NCAA Minneapolis Regional in April. Two of Ball's gymnasts were named All-Americans on the event (Maile'ana Kanewa and Haley Scaman), and Scaman posted OU's first perfect 10.0 on the event since 2010 in March.
On uneven bars, Ball and Haley coached senior Taylor Spears to first-team All-America honors at NCAAs for her performance. Ball and Haley's gymnasts won 11 total uneven bars titles throughout the season.
In 2013, Ball helped coach OU to a national runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships, tying for what was then the best finish in program history. The Sooners won a Big 12 championship and took top honors at the NCAA Norman Regional en route to their record-setting performance.
Ball's vault squad captured a total of 13 individual event titles on the season. Under Ball's tutelage, freshman Maile'ana Kanewa overcame preseason surgery to earn top honors on vault three times, including the Big 12 vault championship. Ball also coached Madison Mooring to first-team All-America honors and an appearance in the NCAA individual finals on the event.
Ball and Haley teamed up to coach three Sooner gymnasts to All-America honors on bars. Erica Brewer and Rebecca Clark both earned first-team All-America honors and top-10 NCAA finishes on the event, while Brie Olson was a second-team All-American. Ball and Haley's gymnasts captured 18 titles on bars throughout the season.
In 2012, Ball helped coach OU to a Big 12 championship, regional championship and seventh-place national finish, marking Oklahoma's ninth-straight trip to the NCAAs.
Oklahoma's 2011 squad earned its third undefeated regular season in four years while 11 gymnasts captured All-America honors. Ball again earned coach of the year honors at the regional level as he aided OU to the NCAA Norman Regional title and a third-place performance at the NCAA Championships.
In 2010, OU finished in a program-best second place after making its first-ever NCAA Super Six team finals appearance. The Sooners also went undefeated in the regular season, beat No. 1 Alabama and eight other top-25 opponents, claimed their third-straight Big 12 Championship and won the 2010 NCAA University Park Regional title.
OU won 12 of 13 team event titles on bars under the direction of Haley and Ball, while Hollie Vise earned All-America distinction and was NCAA Runner-Up on the apparatus. The Sooners didn't count a fall on the apparatus in 2010 and posted only two team scores below 49.000.
Ball's vault squad posted a team score of 49.000 or higher in 14 of 15 competitions in 2010. OU won the team vault title 11 times in 2010, including the Big 12 vault title and NCAA University Park Regional vault title.
Under Ball's leadership, an OU gymnast won the individual vault title 11 times, including the Big 12 vault title (shared by Jackie Flanery, Brie Olson and Natalie Ratcliff). Ball also helped Sara Stone achieve the program's first perfect score since 2008 when Stone posted a 10.0 on vault at Michigan State.
In 2009, OU closed the year with top-10 team rankings on both vault and bars and won a combined 14 team titles on the two events. Every member of the 2009 Oklahoma vault lineup posted a season high of at least 9.85, including three with scores higher than 9.9.
Ball's expertise on the two events was evident in 2008 as Oklahoma closed the season ranked first in the Big 12 and 10th in the country on both apparatuses. OU won 11 bars titles and notched 10 wins on vault during the regular season, capped off by 23 individual event titles on the two events alone.
In his first season at OU in 2007, Ball also guided Brittney Koncak-Schumann to All-America status on vault.
Prior to joining the Oklahoma program, Ball spent 11 years as administrative assistant coach at Iowa State where he was named the 2005 NACGCW National Co-Assistant Coach of the Year. He was also honored as an NCAA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2002.
At Iowa State, Ball served as the primary coach on vault and uneven bars. During his tenure in Ames, the Cyclones rewrote the school record books on both events and six of his gymnasts won Big 12 titles on bars.
Ball also coached a two-time regional bars co-champion and a pair of two-time All-Americans on vault.
While at Iowa State, Ball was a co-owner and head coach at the Cardinal Gymnastics Academy where he qualified five gymnasts to the national TOPS team and camp held annually at USA gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi's ranch.
Ball and K.J. Kindler have had five of their club gymnasts go on to compete at the NCAA level.
In addition, Ball coached individuals to Level 10 USA Nationals for eight consecutive years, and his Level 8, 9 and 10 teams all captured Iowa state titles. In 1999 and 2001 Ball was named Iowa USA Gymnastics Coach of the Year.
Prior to his time in Iowa, Ball served as head coach at Cahoy's Gymnastics School in Omaha, Neb., for three years where he led several individuals to berths at USA Nationals.
As an athlete, Ball competed as a vault and floor exercise specialist at the University of Nebraska from 1990-93. He was an NCAA vault finalist in 1992 and helped the Cornhuskers to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships in 1992 and 1993.
Ball also earned All-Big Eight honors on vault in 1992 and 1993. Ball transferred to Nebraska in 1990 after spending two seasons as a member of the gymnastics team at Michigan.
Ball earned a bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Iowa State in 1999.
He is married to OU head coach K.J. Kindler and the couple lives in Norman with their two daughters, Maggie and Adelade.