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PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's head gymnastics coach, John Ceralde, has announced the hiring of Kim Parsons as his assistant coach for the 2013 season.

 "I am pleased to welcome Kim to our coaching staff," said Ceralde, who enters his seventh season at the helm in 2013. "Her enthusiasm for the sport of gymnastics is apparent, and I know she will bring positive energy to our team. I am looking forward to working with her so we may reach our program goals for the upcoming season."

Parsons -- who will focus her efforts on coaching Penn's beam team -- comes to Penn after spending last year as the assistant coach at Temple University, where she worked primarily with beam while assisting floor and vault. With Parsons' help, the Owls broke program records in both vaulting and team score, and fifth-year senior Katie Canning claimed the ECAC beam and all-around titles.

"It is truly an amazing opportunity to join this program under Coach Ceralde," she said. "I could not be more excited! I believe I share his passion and commitment in continuing the success of Penn gymnastics, and I am anxious to help any way I can."

Prior to that, Parsons was the associate head coach for MIT's club program for the 2010-11 season, which she helped lead to the 2011 National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs (NAIGC) National Championship. That team also boasted the NAIGC all-around champion in Julia Zimmerman; the vault co-champions in Zimmerman and Zara Karuman; and the uneven bars champion in Karuman. In the summers, Parsons worked as a director at Woodward Gymnastics Camp (Pa.), where she assisted in the management of a gym staff of 30 coaches and 200-300 gymnasts per week (Rec to Level 10/Elite).

Parsons graduated from James Madison University, where she received her Bachelor's degree in History. A member of the Dukes' gymnastics team -- which went from varsity to club status during her time on campus -- she earned the program's Most Dedicated award as a senior and the Most Team Spirit award as a freshman. Parsons also holds a Master's degree in teaching from Boston University.

A native of Stoughton, Mass., Parsons currently resides in Philadelphia.

Parsons joins a program that won both the Ivy League and ECAC Championships team titles last year. The Quakers will open the 2012-13 campaign on Sunday, Jan. 13 at the George Washington Invitational.


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