Kristen Maloney: From Elite Gymnast To College Coach

There are many former elite gymnasts who now are coaches in the NCAA. This week we take an in-depth look at our first coach, Kristen Maloney. Stay tuned for more interviews and updates on your favorite former gymnasts. 
 
Kristen Maloney had a very decorated career as a gymnast in both elite and college. Maloney was a member on the National Team from 1993-2001. During her time on the National Team, Maloney was the 1998 and 1999 National Champion. Maloney was also a member of the 1999 World Championship Team. Maloney continued her success with being a member for the 2000 Olympic Team in Sydney where she won a bronze medal in the Team Competition. 
 
Following the Olympics, Maloney went to UCLA to continue her gymnastics career. As a freshman Maloney helped her team with a National Title along with placing third during beam finals. Maloney impressed by scoring a perfect 10 on both beam and floor in her freshman year. Maloney suffered a leg injury and sat out the 2002 and 2003 season. Maloney came back strong for her senior year after a long two years of recovery to compete in the all-around. Maloney helped her team with another National Title in 2004. She also qualified to bar finals finishing 2nd. She also scored her first perfect 10 on vault as a senior. 
 
Following her time at UCLA Maloney started her coaching career in 2010 as an assistant coach at New Hampshire. After one successful season at New Hampshire, Maloney moved onto Iowa State, where she just finished her 4th season as assistant coach. Maloney coaches Iowa State’s vault and floor teams.

Image Via- Maloney's Twitter

Gymnastike recently caught up with Kristen Maloney
 
Following your time at UCLA you jumped around at a few different jobs. What was your favorite job prior to becoming a NCAA coach? 
Cirque du Soleil! It was a different and unique experience that allowed me to still perform and do gymnastics. I performed for two years on an act called PowerTrack in Europe and South America. 
 
What is the best part about being a NCAA gymnastics coach?
The best part is working with the student athletes. I love the ‘light bulb moments’ when something clicks for them. I love being able to coach and see them get better. 
 
What made you go into coaching after you graduating from UCLA?
I wanted to coach college because that is the time in my life where I fell in love with gymnastics again. I had so much fun and joy as a student athlete that I want to help others find that same joy. 
 
How did your time as a college or elite gymnast help you as a coach?
Just going through the whole college process is helpful. College is a whole different world than club and elite and I can relate going through the process myself. I think having an elite and college balance is a great perspective to have. I am able to relate with my gymnasts as well with techniques and the mental side of gymnastics. 
 
What brought you to Iowa State after just one year at New Hampshire?
New Hampshire was my first college job and I am so thankful for that experience. I learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes. I felt that Iowa State was a great place to learn more and be able to grow. Iowa State is a bigger school and has a great athletic department, on top of being a beautiful campus. I have learned so much more here in the world of recruiting and I think it’s a step in the right direction. 
 
What goals do you have as a coach?
I want to keep learning and moving up. I would love to be a head coach one day at an NCAA program! 
 
What are your thoughts on the change to the size of the Olympic Team?
I think it is unfortunate that we are taking away the opportunity for athletes to go to the Olympics. 

Anything else you would like us to know? 
I love college gymnastics and look forward to moving up and seeing what I can go in the world of college gymnastics! 

Stay tuned to gymnastike for more interviews with former elite gymnasts! 

Cali Grand Invitational: Who Will Challenge Oklahoma At Season-Opener?

In recent history, Oklahoma has been the powerhouse team of the NCAA, winning four of the past six team titles. Most notably, the Sooners win this past year showed the NCAA that they are THE team to beat in 2020. 

Everything You Need To Know: 2020 California Grand & Collegiate Challenge

The California Grand Invitational and Collegiate Challenge is coming up, and this huge club and college competition is a great way to kick off the 2020 NCAA season and showcase many talented level 10 competitors. This meet will take place in Anaheim, California, at the Anaheim Convention Center. The venue is recently renovated and is sure to be a gorgeous spot to host this huge event. 

Rookie Coaches Bring Fresh Ideas To NCAA Gymnastics

Last week, we brought you reflections from some of the most veteran coaches in NCAA gymnastics. 

Maggie Nichols Leads Oklahoma Gymnastics Into 2020 Season

The 2020 NCAA season is less than a month away, and eight teams, including the reigning national champion Oklahoma Sooners, will begin their season at the California Grand Invitational & Collegiate Challenge.

5 Reasons To Watch The 2020 Cali Grand Invitational & Collegiate Challenge

The NCAA gymnastics season is coming up, and we could not be more excited! First up is the Cali Grand Invitational and Collegiate Challenge, featuring eight NCAA teams alongside level 10 club gymnasts. The competition will be held Jan. 3-5, with the NCAA teams competing Jan. 4.

Everything You Need To Know About Robot Judges Used At Worlds

With all the history made at World Championships 2019, it was easy to miss perhaps the biggest news of all: this was the first competition that included the use of artificial intelligence and 3D sensors, “robot judges” if you will, as an additional judging tool.

Veteran NCAA Gymnastics Coaches Reflect On Past, Present & Future

The 2020 NCAA gym season is stacked with talent, and not just from the athletes.

Philippine Gymnasts Prep For SEA Games Pressure

When Carlos Yulo made history for the Philippines by winning bronze on floor at the 2018 World Championships in Doha—his country's first world medal in gymnastics—he raised the bar. When he made history for the Philippines by winning gold on floor at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart―his country's first world title in gymnastics―he raised the bar even higher. 

2020 Collegiate Challenge Ticket Giveaway

FloGymnastics will be be kicking off the 2020 NCAA gymnastics season at the Collegiate Challenge on Jan. 4 and we're giving away tickets to watch the event in person! We will also be providing exclusive coverage of the competition including a live stream and video replays.

Who Are The Young Gymnasts Who Earned Bronze For Italy?

During last month’s 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the U.S. won gold and Russia silver, but it was Italy, winners of the bronze medal, that captured hearts in Stuttgart and around the world.