Gold medalist Jordyn Wieber to lead Arkansas gymnastics

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              FILE - In this July 31, 2012, file photo, U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber bites her gold medal at the Artistic Gymnastics women's team final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London. Arkansas has picked Olympic gold medalist and former world all-around champion Jordyn Wieber as head coach of the Razorbacks’ women’s gymnastics team. Athletic director Hunter Yurachek announced the hiring Wednesday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas has hired Olympic gold medalist and former world all-around champion Jordyn Wieber as head coach of its women’s gymnastics team.

Athletic director Hunter Yurachek announced the hiring Wednesday. Wieber, who just finished her third season as a volunteer assistant coach at UCLA, won gold in the 2012 Olympics as part of the “Fierce Five” team. She will replace Mark Cook, who announced his retirement earlier this month after 17 years coaching the Razorbacks.

At UCLA, Wieber coached the Bruins on floor exercise, including Katelyn Ohashi’s showstopping routines that went viral. Former UCLA coach Valorie Kondos Field called Wieber “one of the most impressive people I have ever had the honor and privilege to work with.”

Wieber was a two-time U.S. all-around champion and world all-around champion in 2011.

“The journey of Jordyn Wieber is truly extraordinary,” Yurachek said. “As one of the world’s elite gymnasts and an assistant at one of the top collegiate programs in the country, she has already experienced more than many of us will in a lifetime. She has a maturity beyond her years and her experiences at the highest level of gymnastics will be a tremendous asset to the young women in our program.”

Wieber was one of five athletes on the 2012 team who testified they were abused by Larry Nassar, a former doctor for USA Gymnastics who is in prison for sexually assaulting girls and young women. In its announcement of Wieber’s hiring, the university praised the Michigan native as “outspoken advocate for victims of child sexual abuse.”

Under Cook, Arkansas made 16 consecutive NCAA regional appearances and and eight NCAA championship appearances.