How do you quantify the impact an elite coach can have on a program?
For Oklahoma women's gymnastics, the story is not only in the numbers. Year after year, talented gymnasts finish their time at OU having been mentored by one of the nation's finest coaches. Head coach K.J. Kindler seeks young women of strong character to be part of the Sooner program and pushes them to be the best they can be, inside and outside of the gym.
What Kindler and her coaching staff have accomplished already is difficult to put into words, but perhaps no one knows better than members of the OU athletic department and the women's gymnastics team.
“K.J. is one of the best, most well-rounded coaches I have ever been around. She is tough. She is relentless. She expects nothing less than excellence in everything surrounding our women’s gymnastics program...from her athletes, coaches, and support staff. Her vision is extraordinary and she makes others see and believe in that vision. What she has done and what she continues to do with this team year in and year out is astounding. Oklahoma women's gymnastics is at the top because of K.J. Kindler's vision, drive, determination, and leadership!”
Lindy Roberts, OU Associate A.D./Events and Facilities, Sport Administrator
“K.J. is a great leader and example for the young women in her life every day. I have always admired how she can not only coach them in gymnastics but also coach them in life. She has the ability to motivate everyone around her to be the best they can be in every aspect of their lives. She knows what it takes to be successful and will do everything she can to assist those around her to do the same. I have worked with many coaches and I have learned so much from K.J. both inside and outside the gym. It's an honor and privilege to work with her daily!”
Jenn Richardson, Women's Gymnastics Athletic Trainer
“When I first met K.J., I fell in love with her passion for the sport. I could see that she was so enthusiastic about everything, and I really admired that. She constantly has a smile on her face, and she has made my time at OU so memorable. One of my favorite parts of every meet is the huge hug I get from her after I finish a routine. She puts her heart and soul into the team. Everything she does is FOR the team, and all of us. When she coaches us, you can tell she truly cares, and wants to see us accomplish our goals.”
“Ever since I first met K.J., she has been very positive and encouraging. I really appreciate the way she pushes us as a team and as individuals. She encourages us to be the best gymnast we can become in order to be the best team we can be. The entire time I have known her she has been very determined about the goals she has set for us as a team. Whether it is the enthusiasm we portray at a meet, or hitting all 24 events in one meet, she has kept us on track to pursue and conquer those goals. I admire the way she runs this team and I can't wait for the years to come!”
“K.J. expects nothing less than our best both in the gym and out of the gym. She holds us to high standards because she can see our potential; she can see that we are capable of great things. She inspires us, helps us, guides us, pushes us, and encourages us daily, never giving up on a single one of us.”
“When I first met K.J., I could immediately see she was very passionate about her job. You can tell how passionate she is by the way she talks about the OU gymnastics program and you can tell how much she wants us to succeed. Not just succeed in gymnastics, but also in school because she knows how important it is. She always plans things out way in advance to make sure she does everything she can to help us succeed.”
“K.J. is very intuitive. She follows her instinct to make decisions and she has taught our team to adapt quickly in every situation. Because of this, she has been extremely successful.”
“The second I met K.J., I knew she was the right coach for me and this was the perfect school for me. She was extremely welcoming and I loved that about her. When I left my visit, I felt as if she would almost be like my mother away from home and I respect that so much. She is a wonderful coach and person. She is a great role model for girls. She is strong and knowledgeable and extremely fun to be around! During my time out of gymnastics while I was dealing with my hand injury, she called me and visited me in the hospital and always checked up on me. The support she gave me in not only that situation but in everything I come to her with is outstanding.”
My experience with K.J. so far has been great. She pushes me to the best that I can be, and I appreciate that. She is wonderful and I cannot wait for the next years to come and build more memories with her and this team.”
“My experience with KJ so far has been amazing. I haven't even been with her for an entire year yet, but she has already taught me so much in and out of the gym. She's given me a college experience that not many people are able to experience. She is a great coach and has created an incredible reputation for OU.”
“K.J. has given me the opportunity to compete at the NCAA level. The feeling you have when you successfully compete at this level is indescribable. I have so many memories from my time at OU that I can't pick just one instance and label it my favorite. K.J. is unlike any other gymnastics coach; she has a special eye for detail that gives our team polish and the ‘it’ factor other teams lack.”
“K.J. is one of the most talented coaches I have ever met. She has this energy about her that makes anyone who walks into the gym want to work hard. She always reminds us of our goals and gives just the right amount of push to make them into reality.”
“I feel that K.J. has taught our team the valuable lesson of believing in ourselves. She believes in us 100 percent and instills that confidence in us so that we are able to compete at our best against the toughest teams in the country. K.J. has taught me to own my talent!”
“K.J. has more passion and drive than anyone I've ever met. She knows how to bring out the best in every person, she always encourages you to dream big, and the word impossible is not in her dictionary! Not only has she had a huge impact on my life, but I believe she has changed the face of Oklahoma Gymnastics forever. And I'm beyond thankful I get to be a part of it!”
“K.J. wants us to be the best we can be just as much as we want it. She gives us all equal opportunity to reach our full potential, and she believes in each and every one of us. Her high expectations for us in and outside the gym motivate me to be the best gymnast and bet person I can be.”
“K.J. pushes every one of us to be the very best we can, in and outside of the gym. When I came back to gymnastics last year after nearly two years off, she never gave up on me through the struggle of getting back in shape and relearning skills. I am very thankful for her patience and high expectations for me, because it is the reason I was able to make it into the beam lineup last year and have the honor of competing for the University of Oklahoma.”
“She has so much drive and passion for our program and you can see it in everything she does for us. She pushes us to our best potential and connects with every single one of us in a special way. She's a great motivator and makes me want to be successful in everything that I do. She's someone to look up to inside and outside of the gym.”
“K.J. is not only invested in our gymnastics but she also takes the time to invest in our lives outside of gymnastics, like our success in academics. She is extremely passionate about what she does and she knows how to push everyone to their full potential.”
“I find it really hard to come up with words to describe KJ...She is one of a kind. To start, it's not very common to find a competitive sports team where character is valued more than talent...and that's what she recruits. Her love and dedication to not only the team but the sport of gymnastics as a whole is truly inspiring. I'm pretty sure her 200th win speaks in itself - she is committed to the success of Oklahoma Women's Gymnastics and strives for the best. She's an amazing person - strong and beautiful, both inside and out. She cares about our health - not just as gymnasts, but people as well.”