May 9, 2013
BERKELEY - Tim McNeill, who has served as Cal's head men's gymnastics coach for the past three seasons, is leaving his position with the University. McNeill plans to undergo back surgery and, following a period of rehabilitation, expects to return to a career in coaching elite gymnastics.
"One of the most accomplished gymnasts ever to compete for Cal, Tim has earned a place of respect in our history for his roles as a student-athlete and coach," Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. "His distinguished career brought him five NCAA championships as a competitor, while he earned MPSF Coach of the Year honors after his first season leading our program as head coach. During his years with the team, Tim helped grow the legacy that is Cal men's gymnastics, and we are grateful for the commitment he has shown to the program."
The most decorated gymnast in Cal history, McNeill earned All-America honors each of his four years as a Golden Bear from 2005-08. He captured the first of his five school-record NCAA individual championship titles as a sophomore when he won the pommel horse competition in 2006. He later claimed both the pommel horse and parallel bars titles at the NCAA Championships in both 2007 and '08. At the end of his senior season, McNeill received the Pac-10 Medal as the most outstanding senior male student-athlete at Cal.
In addition to his collegiate honors, McNeill was a member of the U.S. Senior National Team from 2006-11. Among his accomplishments were winning a gold medal on pommel horse and parallel bars at the USA Championships, competing at Olympic Trials in 2008, placing seventh in the all-around and fifth on pommel horse at the 2009 World Championships, earning a bronze medal on parallel bars at the International World Cup in Moscow in 2010, and being voted as the U.S. Gymnast of the Year in 2010.
As Cal's coach, McNeill was named the MPSF Coach of the Year during his first season at the helm in 2011. His gymnastics knowledge carried over to his coaching, where he guided the Bears to fourth-place NCAA finishes in both 2011 and '12, with one individual pommel horse champion in 2012. Four of his student-athletes became members of the U.S. National Team, two became members of the Filipino National Team, and one became a member of the Swiss National Team, all under his tutelage. McNeill went on to coach at the Olympic Trials in 2012, and he was chosen by USA Gymnastics to lead and coach the U.S. delegation at the 2012 World Cup competition in Croatia. He also played a significant role in raising more than $2.5 million to support Cal gymnastics and recruited 13 freshmen for the 2013 season to help ensure its continuation as a varsity sport.
"Tim will forever remain a member of the Cal Athletics family," Barbour said. "We wish him a speedy recovery and success in his future gymnastics endeavors."