June 20, 2001

NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics head coach Steve Nunno announced the hiring of Jennifer Ester-Rowland as an assistant coach today. The coach slot opened when longtime head coach Becky Switzer stepped down following a one-year stint as co-head coach last season.

Ester-Rowland comes to OU with an impressive resume of gymnastics coaching and competition. As a gymnast, Rowland was involved on the international level for 11 years. Five of those years where spent as a member of the United States National Team that won the 1989 World Championship.

As a collegiate gymnast, Ester-Rowland competed at Arizona State and earned first-team All-America honors on the uneven parallel bars in 1993.

For the past five years, Ester-Rowland has coached elite gymnasts at Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy in Norman. Also during that time span, she received certification in USAG safety and Elite and Brevet level judging.

"We are extremely happy to announce Jenny Ester-Rowland as our new assistant women's gymnastics coach at the University of Oklahoma," said OU Head Coach Steve Nunno. "Jenny possesses a rare combination of experience from international and collegiate gymnastics to the elite coaching and judging fields. Jenny is a well-respected professional in the gymnastics community. Her personality is perfect for college gymnastics and we're honored to have her on our staff. The addition of Jenny to our program gives us one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the country."

Ester-Rowland, who starred as Tracy Prescott in the 1986 gymnastics movie "American Anthem", graduated from Oklahoma in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in health and sport sciences. She is married to Garon Rowland, a former OU All-American gymnast from 1995-97.

Ester-Rowland joins Nunno and assistant coach Nilson Savage on the OU staff.