Sept. 25, 2012
BERKELEY - Elisabeth Crandall - a distinguished international brevet-level judge, an internationally experienced gymnast, and a collegiate All-American - is the new California women's gymnastics assistant coach, head coach Justin Howell announced recently.
"I am so thrilled to have Liz join our Golden Bear family," Justin Howell said. "We are privileged to have someone of her caliber join our team. Her experiences as a world-class athlete, an Olympic-level official and a NCAA scholarship athlete will provide our student-athletes with guidance and perspectives that they can't get anywhere else. Liz knows what it takes to succeed. Her passion for the sport and developing well-rounded student-athletes will be key ingredients for us to reach our goals."
In addition to judging the past three Olympic trials, Crandall has coached at the collegiate and club levels and spent six years as a member of the U.S. national team after which she was a student-athlete at BYU.
"I am thrilled to be embarking on this incredible journey with our Cal athletes," Crandall said. "This is an incredible opportunity for me. I strongly believe that the values and life skills that are learned through high-level athletics help to create successful, productive, and well-rounded adults who will be our next generation's leaders. I consider it an honor to be able to be a part of the phenomenal experience that is Cal Athletics. I am excited to be reuniting with Justin as my coaching partner. I know that we are committed to helping this team soar to new heights and maximizing their potential."
Crandall joins a women's gymnastics squad that is coming off one of its best seasons in program history. In 2012, the Bears averaged nearly one full point higher per meet than before with gymnasts recording multiple personal highs and eight student-athletes receiving Pac-12 All-Academic honors.
Just one of 16 active international brevet judging officials in the U.S., Crandall has judged each of the last three Olympic trials - including the 2012 trials in San Jose. From 2001-09, she was an official for U.S. Championships, and from 2006-07, she was the U.S. Apparatus Chairperson for uneven bars.
A seven-time U.S. National Team member from 1987-92, Crandall boasts a multitude of domestic and international accolades, travelling to Japan, Russia, Belgium, and Germany to represent the US. Most notably in 1991, she took home a gold medal at the USA Championships on uneven bars. Further, she also finished fourth on vault and eighth in the all-around. She was also a member of the silver medal winning team at the 1991 World Championships. Additionally, she finished 11th in the all-around at the 1992 Olympic trials. She medaled at the 1988 U.S. Championships on uneven bars and floor exercise, taking second in the all-around.
A full athletic scholarship student-athlete at Brigham Young University, Crandall was a two-time first-team All-American on the uneven bars. She helped the Cougars qualify to three NCAA Championships from 1994-96 and qualified on the individual level in 1993. In three of her four years in Provo, Utah, Crandall was the NCAA Regional uneven bars champion. She graduated in 1997 with a degree in physical education and health promotion.
Since 2007, Crandall has been the Talent Opportunity Program (TOPs) director and team coach at Airborne Gymnastics. With Airborne, she directed and developed the USA TOPs program for the 6-11-year-olds, coached four national TOPS team members and four Diamond National Team members. In her time with Airborne, she has had 13 Junior Olympic national qualifiers, 12 Western national qualifiers and coached over 20 athletes that went onto NCAA scholarships.
"Liz is one of the most respected coaches in the country," Howell said. "She will play a key role in our recruiting success."
For the past three years, Crandall has been the lead Zumba instructor at the Rhythm Attic Dance Studio. She has also served as a choreographer for almost two decades. Crandall served as the head coach and team director of the International Gymnastics Centre from 2004-06, in which time it produced two Junior Olympic national qualifiers, three Western national qualifiers and two state level 10 all-around champions.
Crandall was the head coach and team director of Woodland Gymnastics from 1998-2003. During that time (2001-03), she also served as an assistant coach for the Sacramento State collegiate women's gymnastics team. She also served as a U.S. National Team mentor, guiding 2000 Olympic team member and UCLA All-American Kristen Maloney.
Crandall is married to Justin Howell, and they have two children - Jacob and Noah.