Illini Women's Gym pictures from the Pink Meet vs. Iowa on Jan. 31 inside Huff Hall.
Chad Wiest enters into his second year as assistant coach for the women's gymnastics program under head coach Kim Landrus. In his first season, Wiest improved the floor and vault regional qualifying scores to the highest it's been in over 10 years. Floor was ranked 13th in the nation with a 49.240 RQS, as the squad scored a 49.2 or higher in six of its 14 meets. The Illini posted a 49.325 on floor at the Big Ten Championships, which ranked as the seventh highest all-time. Wiest coached three Illini to top-100 national rankings on floor (Amber See - 17; Giana O'Connor - 42; Erin Buchanan - 64). In addition, Illinois' vault lineup ranked 19th in the country with a RQS of 49.155, over 10 spots higher than the previous year. The Illini recorded three of the top-four vault scores in school history, including the all-time program record of 49.425 set at the Illinois Classic, which included See's Perfect 10. Finally, the vault lineup doubled its individual title intake from a year before, including three titles from freshman Erin Buchanan.
Wiest returned to his alma mater for the 2013-14 season after graduating from Illinois in 2011 with a Recreation, Sport and Tourism degree. Wiest spent two seasons as the vault and floor exercise coach at Bowling Green in which he resumed that role with the Orange and Blue.
In his first year coaching at Bowling Green, Wiest helped the Falcons improve their regional qualifying score by more than three points and qualify a school record four gymnasts to NCAA Regionals. Furthermore, the Falcon floor lineup cracked the nation's Top-20. In his second season, he coached Bowling Green to a No. 2 ranking in the MAC on floor with the team scoring above a 49.0 in five of their six last meets, including a season best 49.3. On vault, Wiest led Bowling Green gymnast Jamilah Ali to a MAC vault title.
At Illinois, Wiest was a two-time All-American on floor (2007, 2010), finishing in third place at the NCAA Championships both times. In 2011, the Butler, Pa. native was First-Team All-Big Ten and the floor Big Ten Champion. In addition, Wiest was Academic All-Big Ten in his final two seasons.
Career Highlights Competing at Illinois