FAYETTEVILLE – Don Houlton, a veteran club and collegiate coach, has joined Arkansas’ gymnastics program as an assistant coach, co-head coach Mark Cook announced on Thursday.
Houlton was an assistant at California in Berkeley last season and an assistant at Yale in 2009. Before going to Yale, he was the director and head coach of Nebraska Gold Gymnastics in Omaha, and its owner since 1993.
"We are pleased to announce the hiring of Don as our new assistant," Cook says. "Don brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. The past several years Don has coached at Yale and Cal-Berkeley. Before that, he was the head coach and owner of Nebraska Gold Gymnastics for 21 years. He produced many athletes who competed at the Junior Olympic National Championship, and he has had numerous students go on to receive athletic scholarships at various Division I programs."
In addition to Nebraska Gold Gymnastics, Houlton worked at various other gyms in Colorado, Iowa and Nebraska.
From 1997-2008, he was the coordinator of the USA Gymnastics Region IV Training Camp as well as a member of the National Junior Olympic Program Committee. He was also the Nebraska State Chairman from 1994-97. Houlton has presented at the national Coaches Congress several times, including in 2005 when he was Master Clinician.
As a student-athlete, Houlton competed at Colorado State and for eight years with the U.S. Gymnastics Federation.
"He has great computer skills, which will aid our program in recruiting, marketing and promotions," Cook says. "His primary responsibilities will be coaching floor exercise, and assistant on vault and bars. He will also assist co-head coach René Cook in coordinating recruiting for future student-athletes."
Houlton earned his bachelor’s in public affairs and community service in 2007 from the University of Nebraska.
Houlton joins a program entering its ninth season of competition. The Cooks have built the Razorbacks from scratch into a program which has earned an NCAA Regional bid seven consecutive seasons, advanced to the NCAA Championship three straight years and four of the last five, ranked among the nation’s top 15 six straight years, produced 21 All-America selections and had 11 participants in the NCAA individual event finals, all in the last three years.
The 2010 Razorbacks finished No. 11 in the nation, led the Southeastern Conference and ranked No. 16 in the country in team grade point average, recorded wins over eight teams ranked in the top 25, finished second in the NCAA West Regional and ranked No. 11 in the country in average attendance.