By Brad Bee, Saint Leo Athletics
SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo University Vice President and Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy, named Allie Williams as the first head coach for the University's 21st intercollegiate athletics program, Acrobatics & Tumbling.
Acrobatics & Tumbling will begin competing in Spring 2020 as part of the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA).
"We are excited to have someone with Allie's experience in this emerging sport to lead our program," Saint Leo Vice President and Director of Athletics, Francis X. Reidy commented. "She has the background, passion and technical ability we were looking for. We can't wait to assist her in building the newest sport at Saint Leo."
A 2017 graduate from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science in Education in Health, Kinesiology, and Leisure Studies, Williams was a four-year standout for the Baylor Bears. During her time at Baylor, she was a critical component to three National Titles (2015, 2016, 2017).
"I am extremely excited to join the Saint Leo community and for the opportunity to build and grow the sport of Acrobatics & Tumbling," Allie Williams stated. "The growth of this sport continues to bring more opportunities to female athletes and now in the Florida region. I look forward to building a legacy here at Saint Leo and providing student-athletes the building blocks instilled by the University's core values. The commitment to academic and athletic excellence is an environment that I am thrilled to be apart of."
Williams was able to secure individual Event National Titles in 5 element Acro (2015), Pyramid Heat 1 (2015), and multiple titles in Pyramid Heat 2 (2015, 2017). Her level of excellence was not only limited to competition. Williams was a very successful student-athlete, earning Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team Honors (2014), Big 12 Commissioners Honor Roll (2014, 2015, 2017) and Second Team Academic All-Big 12 Honors (2015, 2017).
Williams comes to Saint Leo follwing one year as an assistant coach at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. During the inaugural season of competition, the Valkyries' Acrobatics and Tumbling team was able to accumulate wins against numerous established programs as well as securing their place as the first team to ever compete for a national title in its inaugural season. While at the NCATA National Championships, Converse qualified to compete in four national event finals as well securing its first ever-collegiate All-American, who was also named the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association 2018 Freshman of the Year.
Along with years of experience through her gymnastics background, Williams brings coaching experience as a gymnastics instructor and clinic coach.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo acrobatics & tumbling program be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.
About Acrobatics & Tumbling
Acrobatics & Tumbling, a discipline of USA Gymnastics, is the evolution of different forms of gymnastics and involves tumbling, tosses, and acrobatic lifts and pyramids. Teams participate in head-to-head competition and are scored in six events, including Compulsory, Acro, Pyramid, Toss, Tumbling, and Team.
About the NCATA
The National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA), which serves as the national governing body, is working with the NCAA staff and the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics to have A&T sanctioned as an emerging sport. Currently, all events are sanctioned through USA Gymnastics.