Minnesota Women's Gymnastics spend time working with talented Special Olympians.
Louie Johnson, a Gopher gymnast from 1990-94, returned to Minnesota for a full-time coaching position with the Gopher women's gymnastics program in 2009 and will be embarking on hisfourth season with the Gopher team in 2013. Before his return to Gopher gymnastics, Johnson spent the previous eight years coaching at the club level in the Twin Cities area. Previous to his club coaching tenure, he coached the Eagan High School gymnastics team for six seasons.
At the club level, Johnson worked with Level 9 and Level 10 competitive-level teams and was involved in all aspects of their training, from creating customized routines to teaching skills to strength training to spotting. In 2009, Johnson earned the USAG Spotter of the Year Award. During his coaching tenure, Johnson coached current Gopher all arounder Kendra Elm to Senior B Level 9 national titles in the all around, bars and vault in 2005. Elm moved up to Level 10 in 2006 and was the Minnesota state champion on bars and qualified for the 2006 Junior Olympic National Championship. Elm was one of two Level 10 national championship qualifiers that Johnson trained in 2007. In addition to coaching success with Kendra Elm, Johnson also coached the 2006 Senior B Level 9 national champion on balance beam.
From 1995 to 2001, Johnson coached the Eagan High School gymnastics team. The Eagan Wildcats won the Minnesota state title in 1998 when Johnson was an assistant coach with the program. While coaching at Eagan, he was involved in many facets of the program, including strength training, spotting, serving as liaison with the parents and boosters, scheduling and supervising staff.
As a gymnast, Johnson competed as a Golden Gopher from 1990-1994. In 1992, he was a member of the Big Ten Championship team. In 1993, he competed in three events at the NCAA Championship team finals and helped the Gophers to a fifth-place national finish.
Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1995 with a bachelor's of science degree in parks and recreation. He is a native of Knoxville, Tenn., but has remained in Minnesota since coming to Minneapolis for his college career. Louie and his wife Jennifer reside in New Hope.