Assistant gymnastics coach Glielmi headed for Stanford

Anthony Maggio

Effective Sept. 1, men’s gymnastics coach Thom Glielmi is leaving Minnesota for the head coaching job at Stanford, a choice he calls “definitely the hardest career decision I’ve had to make as far as career moves.”

Glielmi will first serve as assistant to Cardinal head coach Sadao Hamada for the 2001-2002 season and will take over as head coach in 2002-2003, once Hamada retires.

“It’s just a great opportunity,” Glielmi said. “Bottom line is I’ll be running my own program, and that’s been a goal of mine.”

Over the last three seasons, Glielmi helped build the Gopher team to what he believes is a Big Ten championship contender, despite finishing seventh in the conference meet the past four seasons. He also believes the squad can be top three in the NCAA, a feat which has not been achieved since the 1990 Minnesota squad placed second.

Glielmi’s new Stanford team is more formidable than the Gopher squad he will be leaving behind. The Cardinal team won three national championships in the 1990’s, and boast two All-Americans from the 2000-2001 season.

There is a downside, Glielmi admits, to taking the job at Stanford -leaving Minnesota.

“I love Minnesota,” Glielmi said. “I’m sure it will take me a little time to switch gears. I feel obligated to the guys I’ve recruited, obligated to the team, obligated to the University and the department.”

Glielmi had hoped to take over Minnesota’s program when current head coach Fred Roethlisberger decides to retire, but with the end to Roethlisberger’s storied coaching career nowhere in sight, and a head coaching offer on the table, it was an opportunity too good to pass up.

Roethlisberger had also hoped Glielmi would be his successor when the time came.

“The kids really like him,” Roethlisberger said. “We were hoping he’d stick around here and eventually take over for me.”

The coaching staff and team members are sorry to see Glielmi go, but understand he must take advantage of his opportunities.

“I’m very happy for him,” senior Todd Guilbeau said. “It would be selfish of us to say we want him to stay, granted we do, because he’s a good coach. We can’t ask that of him because its his life. Everybody wishes he could stay.”

Glielmi will have to leave behind the athletes he has worked with the last three and a half years, but his allegiance isn’t completely to Stanford yet.

“The guys know that I’m leaving and I put a challenge to them that if Stanford beats them, I’ll be pissed,” Glielmi said. “But I’m going to do all I can to beat them.”


Anthony Maggio welcomes comments at [email protected].