Drawing Is May 19
Asturias, Chang, Crawford, Leggitt, Olivere, Nilsson, Rosenzweig and Spomer each lauded by Pac-12
Lew, O'Brien, Pierce will each compete on April 7 in Seattle
Crawford leads places ninth on bars
Golden Bears open competition Saturday at 1 p.m. in Salt Lake City
The University of California has hired former Nebraska associate head coach Danna Durante as the new head women's gymnastics coach for the Golden Bears. Durante spent nine seasons coaching the Cornhuskers as their beam coach and choreographer.
The 2007 National Assistant Coach of the Year, Durante was promoted to associate head coach in 2006 after serving as an assistant for four years. She has coached eleven Husker gymnasts to 23 All-America honors on beam and floor. Durante was also named the West Regional Assistant Coach of the Year in both 1999 and 2002. Durante has contributed to Nebraska's continued success in the gymnastics arena, as the 2010 Huskers compiled a 23-8 record and a fourth place finish at the 2010 NCAA Championships.
"I am delighted by the opportunity to coach at California," said Durante. "With the High Performance Initiative and the imminent opening of the High Performance Center, it's a very exciting time on the campus. In addition to the incredible academic standards at Berkeley, we will continue to draw recruits not only from the great state of California, but across the nation. I am confident that we will assist each athlete in their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence. Cal women's gymnastics has tremendous potential and I look forward to seeing how far we can take this program."
"I am thrilled that Danna Durante has accepted our offer to become the head coach of the California Golden Bears women's gymnastics team," said Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. "She brings with her a proven track record of success at Nebraska as well as a familiarity with the conference from her time as an assistant coach at Washington and as a Pac-10 student athlete at Arizona State. I am certain that she will be a perfect leader for the young and talented group of gymnasts she is inheriting as well as being a tireless recruiter who will lead the Bears to being one of the premiere programs in the nation."
"I am grateful to Chancellor Birgeneau and Sandy Barbour for giving me this opportunity," Durante said. "Seeing the support from within the athletics department, I am very excited for the future of the program. The passion and energy surrounding the athletic department and the campus are truly unique. I am honored to become a part of it."
Before joining the Nebraska coaching staff, Durante was a five-year assistant on Bob Levesque's staff at the University of Washington, where she helped the Huskies to the 1999 NCAA West Regional title and a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Durante handled choreography duties for the Huskies, while also coaching beam and floor. She was honored as the West Regional assistant coach of the year in 1999 and 2002. Interested in developing the total student-athlete, Durante was instrumental in the academic success and community outreach at both Nebraska and Washington; graduating nearly 100% of the student-athletes and pressing the importance of life skills and community involvement.
Durante competed for Arizona State from 1992 to 1995, earning All-Pac-10 honors in 1992, 1994 and 1995. She shared the ASU record on the beam after turning in five 10.0 scores in her career and was named to the Pac-10's All-Academic team as a senior. Before joining the Washington program in 1998, Durante spent two years working as a coach with the Arizona Sunrays and Royal (Fla.) Gymnastics Club.
The Tulsa, Okla., native was a two-time member of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation National team in 1988 and 1990. Durante qualified for the 1988 Olympic Trials and won top honors in the all-around in 1986 and 1987 at the South African Cup. She has competed internationally in Germany, France, Bulgaria and South Africa, and was also a two-time member of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation National Team. In addition, Durante served as a USAG Elite Level Judge from 1996 to 2000.
A 1995 graduate of Arizona State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science/Exercise Wellness, Durante and her husband, Joe, have one daughter, Samantha (11), and two sons, Jaxson (9) and Jordan (8).
"My family and I have loved our time in the Midwest and specifically in Lincoln," Durante said. "I want to thank [Nebraska head coach] Dan Kendig, [Sr. Associate AD/SWA] Pat Logsdon and [Nebraska Director of Athletics] Coach Tom Osborne for the support they have shown me over the years, the freedom and growth they have allowed me and the tools they provided that enabled me and to be prepared to become the head coach at Cal. We are looking forward to the new experiences awaiting us in California and the Bay Area." season.