One of the most decorated and accomplished Sooners in history has come home. Steven Legendre enters his second season as an assistant coach for the Oklahoma men’s gymnastics program.
During his second season as an assistant (2017), Oklahoma finished their third straight undefeated campaign and claimed their sixth straight MPSF Conference title and third straight NCAA national championship. Sophomore Yul Moldauer collected two event championships, one on floor and one on still rings. The Sooners became the fourth program to win back-to-back-to-back national titles and the first since 1983. In addition, seven Sooners finished with a total of 22 All-America honors.
In 2016, Legendre's first year, the Sooners compelted a second straight unbeaten season and capped it with a fifth straight MPSF Conference title and the program's 10th NCAA national title. Colin Van Wicklen won the national title on floor and freshman Yul Moldauer became just the second freshman in NCAA history to win the national title in the all-around. Oklahoma posted four of the nine highest team totals in NCAA history during the regular season and in total, seven Sooners finished the year with 16 All-America honors.
For his efforts, Legendre and fellow assistant coach Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons were named the 2016 Assistant Coaches of the Year.
Sooner fans will no doubt remember Legendre’s time at Oklahoma as a student-athlete. The Sooner assistant won six total individual national titles during his four years at OU, tying Jonathan Horton for the most titles in program history. In addition to his national titles, Legendre also earned 12 All-America honors during his illustrious career.
Legendre started his career with a bang. As a freshman in 2008 Legendre won the floor exercise and all-around titles in his first match as a Sooner at the Rocky Mountain Open. He would continue that level of success for the duration of the season, winning the floor title in six separate events and the all-around title in three.
At the 2008 NCAA Championships, Legendre made Sooner history. He became the first freshman in program history to win two NCAA event titles, earning national titles on floor and vault. He also became just the fourth gymnast in program history to claim multiple national championships in a single season. His efforts earned him All-America honors on floor, vault and high bar and helped the Sooners claim their eighth team national title.
Legendre followed up his historic freshman campaign with an even better sophomore run. He picked up 22 event titles during the 2009 season and earned a spot on the U.S. Senior National Team. Legendre rolled all that momentum into the NCAA Championships where he racked up three national titles. He took home the crown on floor and vault and grabbed his first all-around title. After just two seasons as a Sooner, he had already won five individual championships and had been named an All-American six times.
As a junior in 2010, Legendre continued his winning ways. He grabbed an additional 16 event titles during the season and retained his U.S. Senior National Team status by finishing sixth in the all-around at the Winter Cup Challenge. Legendre made history again at the NCAA Championships by winning his third consecutive national title on floor, giving him a total of six for his career, tied with Jonathan Horton for the most individual titles in program history.
Legendre’s final year as a Sooner came in 2011 and brought with it perhaps his highest achievement. Legendre was named the 2011 recipient of the Nissen-Emery Award, considered the Heisman Trophy of gymnastics given annually to the sport’s top senior gymnast. He became the seventh Sooner ever to win the award. Legendre also picked up 12 more event titles and once again earned a spot on the U.S. Senior National Team. He finished his career with 12 All-America honors, the third most in program history.
Competing internationally, Legendre was part of two bronze medal teams at the World Championships and won the silver medal on vault at the 2013 World Championships. Legendre won event championships for Team USA seven times, was a finalist at the World Championships five times and was an alternate for the 2012 USA Olympic Team.
The 2015-2016 season marked the first full-time coaching position for Legendre, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2011. Legendre spent the 2013-2014 season as a volunteer coach for the Sooners and helped OU to a runner-up finish at the 2014 NCAA Championships.