Brett McClure, an Olympic medalist and longtime U.S. National Team member who has coached at the collegiate level the past seven years, has been hired to lead the Golden Bear men’s gymnastics program, and head women’s gymnastics coach Justin Howell has been named Director of Cal Gymnastics, Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour announced Friday.
“Our men’s gymnastics program has a long and successful history complete with national championships and Olympic participants,” Barbour said. “With the years of elite-level experience he owns, I believe that Brett’s leadership will help us maintain and expand that tradition of excellence. Brett’s role with the team will be enhanced with the support he receives from Justin as he embarks on his first season as a collegiate head coach.”
McClure, who will hold the title of associate head coach, spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Stanford, a tenure that was preceded by four years as an assistant at the Air Force Academy. As a competitive gymnast, he was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1999-2006 and helped the United States to a team silver medal at the 2004 Olympics – the squad’s best finish in 20 years.
While at Stanford, McClure assisted the Cardinal to the NCAA title in 2011 and a third-place finish this past spring. He coached one NCAA champion (Sean Senters on vault in 2012), three U.S. National Team members and one Olympic Trials qualifier. McClure was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011.
McClure got his coaching start at the college level at Air Force in August 2006 and was selected the Mountain West Assistant Coach of the Year during his final season in 2010.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work at the No. 1 public university in the country,” McClure said. “The coaches who have been at Cal are legendary in the gymnastics community. I am honored and grateful for the chance to continue to help these student-athletes perform at the highest level, on and off the competition floor.”As a competitor, McClure had a highly successful career that included 12 top-three finishes at the USA Championships and participation in more than 20 international competitions. He was a member of three consecutive World Championships Teams from 2001-03, winning team silver medals in both 2001 and ’03. In addition, McClure captured top honors on the pommel horse at the 2001 and 2004 USA Championships and earned a bronze medal on the pommel horse at the 2001 Goodwill Games.
McClure owns 12 years of experience coaching summer camps across the country, including time as a clinician at U.S. Senior National Team camps, and served as summer camp director and meet director of the Stanford Open from 2011-13. He also was the team manager for Stanford international USAG athletes during his time with the Cardinal.
Howell was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2013, his first season overseeing the Bears’ women’s gymnastics program. Overall, he owns more than 15 years as a head coach, primarily at Airborne Gymnastics in Santa Clara. In his new role, Howell will provide administrative support and guidance for both programs in addition to his head coaching responsibilities with the women’s team.
"I am thrilled to welcome Brett to the Cal gymnastics family,” Howell said. “His leadership and commitment to excellence at the highest level has been proven both in the NCAA and on the world stage. I believe that Brett will make an immediate positive impact on our men's program, and that his leadership will guide each student-athlete to success both in the classroom and on the competition floor."