Men's Gymnastics Standout, Daniel Furney, Forced To Retire

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. One of, if not the most decorated gymnasts in the history of the University of Oklahoma Men's Gymnastics team, Daniel Furney, will be forced to retire because of continued problems with his left knee.

'Daniel was truly a special part of this program and it is unfortunate for him because the next step was to compete for a spot on the US Olympics squad,' commented head coach Mark Williams.  'He was told not to push the injury any further and ultimately is being forced to retire.  Mentally he is wanting to continue to compete, but physically he knows he is unable to.'

Furney was a member of the 2002 and 2003 NCAA National Championship teams and also won individual national championships in the parallel bars and the all-around event.  He also tied Bart Conner's OU record with nine career All-America Honors.

Furney kicked off NCAA Championships in 2003 by becoming the fifth Sooner in program history to win the Nissen Emery Award.  He became the first Sooner, along with Josh Landis, to win two individual national titles during the same season. In addition, he also holds numerous OU and NCAA records.

The New Braunfels, Texas, native has worn a brace on his knee for most of his time competing at OU and had surgery in August as a temporary fix for the problem.  Unfortunately, afterwards he was advised by specialists that it was in his best interest to quit the sport.  X-Rays after the surgery revealed that any further pounding on his leg could cause possible ligament damage in the knee.

'This obviously was not something that I had planned and it is very disappointing to me,'  said Furney.  'Despite how hard it is to move on, I just need to find the positives out of this and move forward with my life.'

Furney currently works in the athletics department in the marketing office as an intern, and once the 2004 men's gymnastics season kicks off, he looks to be involved as much as possible.

'I definitely want to do as much as I can to help out the guys,' commented Furney.  I just want to continue to be a part of this team and help them get back to a third straight NCAA Championship.'

Williams added, 'Despite the disappointment, we are looking forward to having Daniel help out with the team as much as possible.  His role on the team during competition helped us achieve all our recent success and we believe he can do that again in a different role this time around.'

Furney will receive his undergraduate degree in communications and is looking into attending graduate school at OU.  In the meantime he is looking to participate in weightlifting, focusing on the upper body aspect of the sport.



Some of Furney's Accomplishments:

*2003 Nissen Emery Award

*2003 Parallel  Bars NCAA Champion

*2003 All-Around NCAA Champion

*Member of the 2003 and 2002 National Championship Teams

*2003 MPSF Gymnast of the Year

*Four-time member of MPSF Championship Team

*2003 All-Around MPSF Champion

*2000 Pommel Horse MPSF Champion

*Holds the all-around national record with a score of 56.350

*Broke four OU records in 2003:
 Vault (9.700), parallel bars (9.500), high bar (9.700) and all-around (56.350)

*Nine career All-America honors

*US National Team Member