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Chris Waller is promoted to head coach of UCLA gymnastics team

Chris Waller is promoted to head coach of UCLA gymnastics team
Felicia Hano celebrates with assistant coach Chris Waller after competing on the bars at the semifinals of the NCAA gymnastics championship at the Ft. Worth Convention Center on April 19. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA’s gymnastics team found a replacement for legendary coach Valorie Kondos Field on Wednesday.

Associate head coach Chris Waller was promoted to head coach, the school said. Waller has been part of the Bruins’ coaching staff for 17 years; UCLA won four national championships in that span. Kondos Field retired after being the team’s head coach for 29 years.

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Under Kondos Field, UCLA won all seven of its national championships.

“Chris was born to coach,” Kondos Field said in a statement, “and I can honestly say that so much of our program’s success since he’s been on this staff has been due to his contributions.”

Waller, a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, competed for the U.S. national team for eight years. He helped the UCLA men’s gymnastics team win a national championship in 1987, several years before the program was cut.

Said athletic director Dan Guerrero: “He is incredibly deserving of the opportunity to lead UCLA gymnastics into the future.”

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