University of Oklahoma men’s gymnastics head coach Mark Williams announced in July the addition of former Sooner gymnast Chris Brooks to the staff for the upcoming season.
“We’re really excited to have Chris back with the Oklahoma program after his time as team captain at the 2016 Olympic Games. As a former national champion, All-American and captain of the Sooner program, we’re excited he’s going to be our next coach to continue our tradition of excellence and strive to compete for more national championships,” Williams said.
Brooks, a member of the Sooners’ squad from 2006-2009, won two national championships as a student-athlete at OU in 2006 and 2008 and was captain of the team as a senior in 2009. He returns to Norman after spending last season as an assistant for the Nebraska women’s gymnastics team. Brooks also served as a volunteer assistant with the Sooners from 2009-2011.
Brooks has an elite background as a competitor. He was a seven-time NCAA All-American at Oklahoma and four-time U.S. individual event national champion.
As a 29-year-old in 2016, Brooks made his Olympic debut in Rio after serving as an alternate on the 2012 London team and claiming first on the parallel bars and second in the all-around and on the high bar at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
The Houston, Texas, native was selected by his teammates to serve as the captain of the U.S. Men’s Olympic gymnastics team and placed 14th in the individual all-around competition in Rio de Janeiro. He claimed the Winter Cup all-around title in 2010 and was a member of the World Championships team in 2010 and 2015. Before announcing his retirement in Aug. 2017, Brooks finished first on high bar at the 2017 Winter Cup.
Brooks will replace Steven Legendre on OU’s staff, who will pursue a career with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. Legendre served the Sooners’ program for three seasons and leaves OU never having lost a meet as a coach and helping the team to four straight NCAA national championships.