PHILADELPHIA John Ceralde has been named the head coach of gymnastics at the University of Pennsylvania, Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky has announced. Ceralde will take over for departing coach Tom Kovic, who is retiring on June 30 after 19 years at Penn.
“We are pleased that John has accepted our offer to become the head coach of our gymnastics program,” Bilsky said. “John brings the right combination of expertise, energy and care for our student-athletes, and I am confident he will continue our strong tradition of success.”
Ceralde has served as Kovic’s assistant coach for the past five seasons. In 2004, he was named the ECAC Assistant Coach of the Year after helping coach the Quakers to both the Ivy Classic and ECAC championships. During his five-year tenure, Penn gymnastics has an overall record of 45-27.
In addition to his duties with the gymnastics program, Ceralde also has served as Penn’s cheerleading coach for the past five years.
“It is an honor to become the new head coach at Penn. As the assistant for Coach Kovic, I have seen him set high standards in academics and athletics for the gymnastics program,” Ceralde said. “As the next head coach, I plan to continue that academic excellence in the classroom, as well as the athletic challenge in the gym. I am looking forward to more successful years at Penn as I plan to take the program to new heights.”
Ceralde joined the Quakers after two years as the head coach of the Radford University gymnastics program. During his tenure there, he 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).
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), the regional director of Americheer (1995-98), and the power tumbling head coach and men’s assistant coach at the Indy School of Gymnastics (1992-98). 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.