Tom Kovic Departs as Penn Gymnastics Coach

PHILADELPHIA – Head Coach Tom Kovic of the University of Pennsylvania women’s gymnastics team has announced he will resign as head coach, effective June 30.

Kovic leaves Penn to begin a consulting service to help educate potential student-athletes on the college recruiting process. He will also offer a community outreach component that will provide pro bono seminars on college opportunities for underprivileged families.

“Needless to say, I am excited for the chance to impact a segment of the population with important and necessary information, before they begin the recruiting process,” Kovic said.

Kovic, who recently completed his 19th season with the Quakers, achieved a 140-76 career record, eight Ivy Classic titles and two ECAC championships. Penn is still the only Ivy League program to capture four consecutive Ivy Classics and the only to win an ECAC team title (1998 and 2004). Kovic was named the 2004 NCAA Regional Coach of the Year and the 1994 and 1997 ECAC Coach of the Year. Amazingly, his teams put together 17 winning seasons in his 19 years. Kovic coached 35 individual IvyClassic champions, eight ECAC champions, four NCAA athletes of the year and three ECAC athletes of the year.

Kovic also stressed academic excellence during his tenure, and the team’s GPA reflected that, averaging a 3.275 and never slipping below 3.1 in 19 years. The 2005 squad had a program-best 3.51 cumulative GPA, which was the fifth-best in the nation, and had eleven members earn Academic All-America honors. An educator first, Kovic saw more than 160 of his gymnasts honored as Scholastic All-Americans.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Penn family," Kovic said. “Penn offered me the head coaching position on an interim basis in 1987, and the rest is history.”

“Tom has done a wonderful job mentoring true scholar-athletes,” said Penn Director of Athletics Steve Bilsky. “We thank him for his many years of service and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Prior to coming to Penn, Kovic was a standout collegiate gymnast at Temple. From 1974-1977, Kovic was a four-year letterwinner for the Owls, where he was a 12-time medalist and 1975 Eastern Conference Vaulting Champion. Kovic qualified to three NCAA Championships and placed 18th all-around in 1975 and seventh on vault in 1976. He was captain of the 1977 squad and recipient of three most valuable athlete awards. In addition, Kovic qualified to the 1977 USA Championships in the all-around.

A community leader, Kovic developed the first community outreach program for West Philadelphia youth in 1993, providing boys and girls the opportunity for gymnastics instruction along with tutoring in math, science and reading.

"It has been a privilege coaching such a committed group of true student-athletes during my tenure at Penn, and I wish the future teams great success. My experience at Penn helped shape who I am today, and I will always be grateful to have been part of such an elite group as the Penn coaching community."