Email Coach Ball
Assistant coach Lou Ball enters his ninth season with Oklahoma women's gymnastics as the primary coach on vault and co-coach on uneven bars.
The 2010 National Assistant Coach of the Year along with fellow OU assistant coach Tom Haley, Ball has aided OU to four top-three finishes at the NCAA Championships in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014, including Oklahoma's first-ever NCAA championship effort in 2014. The Sooners also notched NCAA runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2013.
Ball has been named Region Assistant Coach of the Year six times on his way to helping OU to six Big 12 Championships in the past eight years and five straight NCAA Regional titles.
OU has garnered 19 All-America honors on bars and vault under Ball's leadership, including NCAA vault runner-up Madison Mooring in 2011 and top-five finishers Haley Scaman (third) and Maile'ana Kanewa (fourth) in 2014. Gymnasts at Oklahoma have brought home 12 awards on bars and eight on vault in the past seven seasons. Ball's efforts have also resulted in seven Big 12 champions on bars and six on vault for the Sooners.
Ball helped lead Oklahoma to the best season in program history in 2014, coaching the Sooners to a first NCAA title, an NCAA Regional championship and a Big 12 title.
Ball led a resurgence of the Oklahoma vaulting corps in 2014. His Sooners averaged a program-best 49.475 over the course of the season on the event, winning 12 event titles throughout the season. OU notched five of the top six scores all-time for an Oklahoma team, including a program-record 49.700 at the NCAA Minneapolis Regional in April. Two of Ball's gymnasts were named All-Americans on the event (Maile'ana Kanewa and Haley Scaman), and Scaman posted OU's first perfect 10.0 on the event since 2010 in March.
On uneven bars, Ball and Haley coached senior Taylor Spears to first-team All-America honors at NCAAs for her performance. Ball and Haley's gymnasts won 11 total uneven bars titles throughout the season.
In 2013, Ball helped coach OU to a national runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships, tying for what was then the best finish in program history. The Sooners won a Big 12 championship and took top honors at the NCAA Norman Regional en route to their record-setting performance.
Ball's vault squad captured a total of 13 individual event titles on the season. Under Ball's tutelage, freshman Maile'ana Kanewa overcame preseason surgery to earn top honors on vault three times, including the Big 12 vault championship. Ball also coached Madison Mooring to first-team All-America honors and an appearance in the NCAA individual finals on the event.
Ball and Haley teamed up to coach three Sooner gymnasts to All-America honors on bars. Erica Brewer and Rebecca Clark both earned first-team All-America honors and top-10 NCAA finishes on the event, while Brie Olson was a second-team All-American. Ball and Haley's gymnasts captured 18 titles on bars throughout the season.
In 2012, Ball helped coach OU to a Big 12 championship, regional championship and seventh-place national finish, marking Oklahoma's ninth-straight trip to the NCAAs.
Oklahoma's 2011 squad earned its third undefeated regular season in four years while 11 gymnasts captured All-America honors. Ball again earned coach of the year honors at the regional level as he aided OU to the NCAA Norman Regional title and a third-place performance at the NCAA Championships.
In 2010, OU finished in a program-best second place after making its first-ever NCAA Super Six team finals appearance. The Sooners also went undefeated in the regular season, beat No. 1 Alabama and eight other top-25 opponents, claimed their third-straight Big 12 Championship and won the 2010 NCAA University Park Regional title.
OU won 12 of 13 team event titles on bars under the direction of Haley and Ball, while Hollie Vise earned All-America distinction and was NCAA Runner-Up on the apparatus. The Sooners didn't count a fall on the apparatus in 2010 and posted only two team scores below 49.000.
Ball's vault squad posted a team score of 49.000 or higher in 14 of 15 competitions in 2010. OU won the team vault title 11 times in 2010, including the Big 12 vault title and NCAA University Park Regional vault title.
Under Ball's leadership, an OU gymnast won the individual vault title 11 times, including the Big 12 vault title (shared by Jackie Flanery, Brie Olson and Natalie Ratcliff). Ball also helped Sara Stone achieve the program's first perfect score since 2008 when Stone posted a 10.0 on vault at Michigan State.
In 2009, OU closed the year with top-10 team rankings on both vault and bars and won a combined 14 team titles on the two events. Every member of the 2009 Oklahoma vault lineup posted a season high of at least 9.85, including three with scores higher than 9.9.
Ball's expertise on the two events was evident in 2008 as Oklahoma closed the season ranked first in the Big 12 and 10th in the country on both apparatuses. OU won 11 bars titles and notched 10 wins on vault during the regular season, capped off by 23 individual event titles on the two events alone.
In his first season at OU in 2007, Ball also guided Brittney Koncak-Schumann to All-America status on vault.
Prior to joining the Oklahoma program, Ball spent 11 years as administrative assistant coach at Iowa State where he was named the 2005 NACGCW National Co-Assistant Coach of the Year. He was also honored as an NCAA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2002.
At Iowa State, Ball served as the primary coach on vault and uneven bars. During his tenure in Ames, the Cyclones rewrote the school record books on both events and six of his gymnasts won Big 12 titles on bars.
Ball also coached a two-time regional bars co-champion and a pair of two-time All-Americans on vault.
While at Iowa State, Ball was a co-owner and head coach at the Cardinal Gymnastics Academy where he qualified five gymnasts to the national TOPS team and camp held annually at USA gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi's ranch.
Ball and K.J. Kindler have had five of their club gymnasts go on to compete at the NCAA level.
In addition, Ball coached individuals to Level 10 USA Nationals for eight consecutive years, and his Level 8, 9 and 10 teams all captured Iowa state titles. In 1999 and 2001 Ball was named Iowa USA Gymnastics Coach of the Year.
Prior to his time in Iowa, Ball served as head coach at Cahoy's Gymnastics School in Omaha, Neb., for three years where he led several individuals to berths at USA Nationals.
As an athlete, Ball competed as a vault and floor exercise specialist at the University of Nebraska from 1990-93. He was an NCAA vault finalist in 1992 and helped the Cornhuskers to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships in 1992 and 1993.
Ball also earned All-Big Eight honors on vault in 1992 and 1993. Ball transferred to Nebraska in 1990 after spending two seasons as a member of the gymnastics team at Michigan.
Ball earned a bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Iowa State in 1999.
He is married to OU head coach K.J. Kindler and the couple lives in Norman with their two daughters, Maggie and Adelade.