Craig Ballard Named Assistant Gymnastics Coach

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Craig Ballard has been named an assistant coach for the University of Iowa gymnastics team, head coach Jen Llewellyn announced Thursday.

“I am thrilled to welcome Craig to our coaching staff,” said Llewellyn. “I have known Craig for over a decade and have high respect for the career he has built for himself. Craig brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience for our sport. He has had many great accomplishments in his 17-year coaching career and I am confident he will have an immediate impact on our program through his passion, work-ethic and vision for greatness.”

Ballard joins the Hawkeyes after 13 seasons at Kent State where he served as an assistant coach for 12 seasons before being named associate head coach in 2024. Prior to Kent State, Ballard served as an assistant coach at Bowling Green and Rhode Island

In his time with the Golden Flashes he helped lead them to six regular season Mid-American Conference championships and nine NCAA postseason appearances. During his tenure, he coached six MAC Gymnast of the Year, three MAC Senior Gymnast of the Year, three MAC Specialist of the Year, and two MAC Freshmen of the Year. Ballard was instrumental in having eight individual MAC champions and two WCGA All-Americans. In the classroom the Golden Flashes had 153 student-athletes recognized as WCGA Academic All-Americans.

Prior to his arrival at Kent State, Ballard spent three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Bowling Green. There, Ballard helped spearhead a turnaround that saw the Falcons go from last place in the MAC to fourth and improve seven positions in the final national rankings. He guided six gymnasts to NCAA Central Regional berths in three years.

Ballard spent the 2008 season as the assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Rhode Island, earning Eastern College Athletic Conference Assistant Coach of the Year honors as the Rams took second place at the conference championships.

Ballard got his start in collegiate coaching as a team manager/student coach at West Virginia, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies in 2006.

A native of Morgantown, W.V., Ballard and his wife, Allyson, have two sons, Reed and Carter Thomas.