Since taking the reins of the Penn gymnastics program in 2006, Head Coach John Ceralde has seen his team earn four Ivy Classic titles (2007, 2011, 2012 & 2015), two ECAC Championships (2012 & 2013), seven individual NCAA appearances - including back-to-back appearances by standouts Marissa Rosen (2007-08) and Dana Bonincontri (2011-12) - and five ECAC individual champions. Coach Ceralde recently completed his tenth season at the helm of the Penn gymnastics team in 2016.
It was a championship type season for Penn in 2015 hosting and winning the Ivy Classic, giving the program 12 overall Ivy Classic championships.
The Ivy Classic win was followed by hosting the USA Gymnastics Women's Collegiate National Championships for the first time in program history inside The Palestra. Penn placed two individuals - Elyse Shenberger and Morgan Venuti - on the USAG All-America First-team.
In addition to the Ivy Classic championship, the Quakers scored top-five all-time team scores on all four events, including the second highest beam score (49.025) in program history. For his efforts, Ceralde was named ECAC Coach of the Year.
In 2014, Penn gymnastics proudly opened one of the top training facilities in nation with the debut of the Nalitt Family Gymnastics Center as part of the newly renovated Hutchinson Gymnasium. The state-of-the-art training facility features space for four balance beams, two vaulting runways, three sets of uneven bars, a trench-channel single bar, the floor exercise and a tumbling strip.
The facility helped elevate the gymnatics program as 11 Penn gymnasts set a total of 22 career-high scores in one of the four events during the course of the season. In the final competition of the season at USAGs, freshman Rachel Graham earned Second-team All-America on floor.
Coach Ceralde led the Quakers to back-to-back ECAC titles for the first time in program history in 2013. The Quakers advanced to the USAG Collegiate Nationals for the third straight time and had six gymnasts combine for 12 USAG All-America honors. Penn senior co-captain Kirsten Strausbaugh placed first at Nationals in the uneven bars.
In a record breaking 2012, the Quakers claimed back-to-back Ivy Classic Championships for the first time since the 2000 season. The team also used the second-best score in team history to capture its third ECAC Championship, the first since 2004. The Quakers advanced to the USAG Collegiate Nationals for the second year in a row and finished with 11 USAG All-America Accolades.
During the 2012 season alone, the Quakers posted four of the top-five vault scores and four of the top-six uneven bars scores in team history. They also posted two of the top-five team scores in program history. For the second straight season, the Quakers also broke the program record for victories in one season.
In addition to capturing the 2011 Ivy Classic inside the Palestra for the first time in four years, Penn advanced one gymnast to the NCAA Regionals and earned a combined six USAG All-America honors. Four gymnasts also combined to earn three first-team All-ECAC and three second-team All-ECAC accolades. This came on the heels of an injury-ridden early season in 2010 where the Quakers steadily increased their team score every meet while newcomers began to shine.
The 2008 and 2009 seasons were pressed with some injuries; however, the Quakers rallied to experience moments of greatness with three gymnastics earning All-ECAC honors. Senior Jordan Brewer capped off the season by qualifying for the NCAA northeast regionals. In 2008, Rosen continued to shine and took home Penn's first all-around title at a regular-season invitational since 2004.
In his first season at the helm of the Quakers, Ceralde quickly made his mark. The Red and Blue won two dual meets and finished first in three multi-meets, including a win in the Ivy Classic, Penn's first since 2004. He coached two NCAA qualifiers and Ivy Classic Champions in Lizzie Lowe and Rosen. In addition, he led Penn to a second-place finish at the ECAC Championships.
Prior to his appointment as head coach, Ceralde served as assistant coach for former Penn coach Tom Kovic for five seasons focusing primarily on vault and floor. Ceralde's vault teams from 2002-07 hold all of Penn's top-five team scores in that event. Meanwhile, his floor lineups from 2003-04 hold four of the top five all-time scores including the top two marks. In 2004, Ceralde was named the ECAC Assistant Coach of the Year.
In 2003, Laura Duros, Desirae Gasparo and Christy Green tied for tops in the floor at the Ivy Classic. Duros repeated as floor champ in 2004. In 2005, Laura Bouchelle took the vault title with Lauren Markowitz following in her footsteps and winning the vault crown in 2006.
Ceralde also helped coached NCAA regional qualifiers Stephanie Ortiz (all-around) and Emily Petkun (all-around).
In addition to his duties on the Red and Blue coaching staff, Ceralde also served as Penn's cheerleading coach. His 2002 and 2003 squads were recognized in American Cheerleader magazine as among the best small co-ed squads.
Ceralde joined the Quakers after two years as head coach of the Radford University gymnastics program. During his stint, Ceralde guided the Highlanders to a sixth-place finish at the 2000 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships. During that time he also coached the 2000 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National vaulting champion, placed six members of his 2000 squad on the All-American team, had his team finish in the top-25 in the nation in GPA, and qualified a gymnast to the NCAA Regional Championships in the all-around.
Ceralde's collegiate coaching background also includes a one-year stint as an assistant at Yale University (1999). While there he helped coach two gymnasts to NCAA regional qualification.
Prior to his jump into the collegiate coaching ranks, Ceralde served as the men's and women's gymnastics team coach at the Deveau's School of Gymnastics (1998) where he helped coach future Olympian Samantha Peszek. He was also the regional director of Americheer (1995-98).
Ceralde served as the power tumbling coach, men's assistant gymnastics coach and cheerleading program director at the Indy School of Gymnastics (1992-98). While there he helped coach the youngest USA National power tumbling team member, Laura Sbragia. Ceralde assisted Junior Olympic USA men's national team coach Gene Watson while at Indy School of Gymnastics. He was also co-director of programming, men's team director and head coach at the Louisville Gymnastics Club (1987-92).
Ceralde graduated from the University of Louisville in 1986.