Ribeiro Tabs McNeill as Assistant Coach
CHAMPAGNE, Ill. – Illinois Men’s Gymnastics Acting Head Coach Daniel Ribeiro announced that Tim McNeill will assume the role of assistant coach on Friday (August 6). McNeill, a decorated gymnast turned head coach at the University of California, Berkeley, is returning to training after retiring in 2013.
“I couldn’t be more excited to add Tim to our coaching staff,” Ribeiro said. “I can say with confidence that Illinois has the best coaching staff in the country. I now have two assistant coaches who both have Division I, Power 5 head coaching experience. Tim ticked all the boxes. squares I was looking for as well as the squares I made. I didn’t even know I was looking for.”
Considered one of the most successful gymnasts in the history of the Cal program, McNeill earned All-America honors in each of his four years as a Golden Bear from 2005 to 2008. He won the first of five NCAA individual championship titles as a sophomore when he won the pommel horse competition in 2006. He went on to win the pommel horse and parallel bars titles at the NCAA championships in 2007 and 2008. At the end of his senior season, McNeill received the Pac-10 Medal as Cal’s Most Outstanding Senior Male Student-Athlete.
After graduating from Cal in 2008, McNeill spent the 2009 season as a graduate trainee with the Bears before training full-time with the U.S. national team.
McNeill returned to his alma mater as head coach of Cal for three seasons from 2010 to 2013. While coaching Cal, McNeill was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Coach of the Year in 2011. He guided the Bears to fourth place in the NCAA in 2011 and 2012, along with an individual pommel horse champion in 2012.
Four of his student-athletes became members of the US national team, two became members of the Philippine national team, and one became a member of the Swiss national team, all under his tutelage. McNeill then coached at the Olympic Trials in 2012, and he was chosen by USA Gymnastics to coach the US delegation at the 2012 World Cup in Croatia.
Prior to his time at Cal, McNeill competed at three Junior Olympic National Championships in 2000, 2002 and 2004. In 2000 McNeill placed third on parallel bars and in 2002 he placed fourth on pommel horse. In 2004, he broke through for a first-place finish on pommel horse, while also taking third place in all-around and fourth in parallel competitions and high bar.
A member of the United States Senior National Team from 2006-2011, McNeill has an impressive international resume. He won his first international medal in 2010 when he placed third on parallel bars at the Moscow World Cup. Other highlights include making the 2008 Olympic Trials final, victory on pommel horse at the 2009 Winter Cup Challenge, parallel bars title and second place all-around at the 2009 VISA Championships. McNeill earned a spot on Team USA for the 2009 World Championships where he placed fifth in pommel and seventh in all-around. In 2010, he was voted American gymnast of the year.
Besides gymnastics, McNeill is a voice in the community for mental health. He interned at an HIV clinic and a residential facility for drug addicts. He also spent time as a mental health counselor at a teen addiction center. Later, McNeill opened his own private practice, helping teens and adults with mental health and addiction issues, while providing sports counseling to help athletes reach their highest potential.
“Tim is young and passionate; he has a brilliant gymnastics mind and a ton of experience.” Ribeiro added. “His work in mental health and sports psychology will also be a huge asset to our athletes.”