Aug. 23, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa men’s gymnastics Head Coach JD Reive has announced the hiring of an assistant coach. Spencer Slaton replaces former assistant coach Dmitri Trouch, who resigned at the end of the 2011 season.
Slaton, of Decatur, Ga., brings 10 years of coaching experience to the Iowa gymnastics program. He also has experience as a former collegiate gymnast at UCLA.
“I’m excited to be back involved with an NCAA program and happy to be a part of the University of Iowa,” said Slaton. “Coach Reive did a great job last year of building some fundamental pieces that are in place now, and we’re only going up from here.”
Slaton most recently served at Premier West Gymnastics Academy of Oswego, Ill., where he was the co-head men’s team coach. Slaton coached eight national qualifiers in the program since 2009.
From 2001-2009, Slaton coached at The Atlanta School of Gymnastics, serving as an assistant men’s head coach and also the head coach of the Emory University Club Gymnastics Team. Slaton coached 13 national qualifiers through his tenure with the program. Two Georgia state champions also came through Slaton’s program, as well as seven university recruited gymnasts. Slaton coached his club team to the national championships.
After competing at Junior Nationals from 1989-1991 and being crowned Junior Nationals floor exercise champion three times, Slaton received a gymnastics scholarship to attend UCLA. Slaton earned the UCLA Freshman of the Year award in 1993 before the Bruins dropped men’s gymnastics as an intercollegiate sport.
Slaton was a U-19 Winter National all-around champion in 1994. That same year, Slaton competed at the USA National Championships and finished 18th overall. Slaton placed first on vault at the Pacific Alliance Championship in New Zealand for the United States National Team, who would win the team title with Slaton’s help. Slaton earned another achievement in 1995, as UCLA was the Club College National Champions.
Slaton received his bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA in 2009.
“I’m excited to have Spencer on board,” Reive said. “He is going to bring a lot of experience as a former elite athlete with many years in coaching. He is going to bring a lot of energy and knowledge to the guys and put us in a position to start contending for those top spots where we belong.”
Slaton will look to help build Iowa’s gymnastics program alongside Reive and fellow assistant coach Brad Virkler, who each joined the program in 2010. Iowa had four wins last season and an All-American in Matt McGrath, and also broke nine of 14 program records.