A four-year letterwinner for the Golden Gophers and a 1973 graduate of the University, Russ Fystrom is in his 30th season as an assistant coach at Minnesota.
Fystrom recorded an outstanding gymnastics career in his own right. A three-time AAU pommel horse vice champion, he was a captain for the Golden Gophers during the 1973 season. In that same year, Fystrom won the Big Ten pommel horse title. Thirty-four years later he coached Kit Beikmann to that same title, as Beikmann was the 2007 Big Ten Champion on pommel horse.
A national and international certified judge, Fystrom was selected to coach at the 1985 U.S. Olympic Festival in Houston. After graduating from the U of M in 1973, he taught high school at Edina. He is currently a teacher in the Burnsville school system.
Russ was recently voted in as one of two Senior Coaches Representative of the USAG Men's Program Committee (MPC). The MPC determines the direction of the entire Men's Program in the United States and is the most powerful committee in men's gymnastics. The coaches of the current Senior National Team vote for their representative on the MPC.
Fystrom and his wife Janet have three children: twin daughters, Amelia and Martha, and a son, Charles.
"Russ has been one of the most loyal Gopher coaches at Minnesota in his 27 years as an assistant. His knowledge of the FIG Code of Points and how to utilize it in the gym combined with his many years of experience with college gymnastics makes him an invaluable member of our staff." - Head Men's Gymnastics Coach Mike Burns