CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Amy Smith has been named assistant women's gymnastics coach at the University of North Carolina announced Tar Heel head coach Derek Galvin. Smith comes to Chapel Hill from UCLA, where she served on its coaching staff during the 2011-12 season.
"I am extremely pleased to have Amy Smith join our gymnastics program," says Galvin. "Amy brings a broad range of skills and experiences to our team. As a former All-America gymnast at UCLA, an NCAA team champion, and a nationally respected choreographer and coach, she will play a key role in assisting our student-athletes pursue their full potential while at Carolina."
Smith was a UCLA team co-captain in 1996 and 1997, leading the Bruins to their first NCAA Championship in 1997 following a close runner-up finish in 1996. During her collegiate career, Smith was a three time All-America, twice on floor exercise and once on vault. After her stellar career as a competitor, Smith got her coaching start at UCLA in 1998 as an undergraduate assistant coach under the guidance of head coach Valorie Kondos Field.
Smith became an established choreographer a few years later and served as a floor exercise choreographer at the University of Florida from 2003 to 2006. While working with the gymnastics program at Florida Smith choreographed routines for six All-Americas.
In 2007, Smith moved to the University of Missouri to assume assistant coach responsibilities. From 2007 to 2011 she served as the balance beam coach and choreographer. During her tenure at Missouri, Smith choreographed additional All-America floor exercise routines and played a key role in the success experienced by the Missouri team as they won the 2010 NCAA Regional and achieved the first team qualification to the NCAA Championships in the history of their program.
In the summer of 2011, Smith returned to UCLA to broaden her experience as a collegiate coach and benefited from the mentoring provided by a coaching staff regarded as one of the finest in collegiate gymnastics. Smith's service as a member of the UCLA coaching staff during the 2011-12 season, a season that produced a third consecutive top-3 team finish at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships, further enhanced the skills she will now share with the Tar Heels.
Smith is eager to begin her Carolina coaching career.
"I am so honored and thrilled to become a member of the Tar Heel family," says Smith. "I feel the philosophy of UNC toward the student-athlete experience very much parallels with what I enjoyed as a student-athlete at UCLA, and it coincides with my coaching principles. That shared level of overall excellence in every aspect of the student-athlete experience, and the associated expectations, I feel will greatly facilitate the transition both for me and for the team. I cannot wait to meet with the team and get in the gym to get started and I cannot wait to see the entire North Carolina gymnastics team at the NCAA National Championships! This is going to be a phenomenal journey!"