Former UCLA All-American, NCAA Champion and U.S. Olympian Chris Waller is in his 14th season as an assistant coach for the UCLA women's gymnastics team and fourth as associate head coach.
Waller has brought nothing but success since returning to UCLA in 2003, helping guide the Bruins to three NCAA team titles. In his first season on the Bruin staff, he helped guide the Bruins to the 2003 NCAA, Regional and Pac-10 Championships. He was also the acting head coach when UCLA snapped the longest home court winning streak in NCAA history for any sport, handing Utah its first home loss in 23 years. In 2004, he helped coach the Bruins to a repeat championship, won in record-setting fashion. He was also selected by his peers as the 2004 NACGC National Assistant Coach of the Year. In 2010, he was voted the West Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
The success did not stop for Waller after the 2004 collegiate season. He coached former Bruin great Mohini Bhardwaj as she earned not only a spot on the U.S. Olympic team but the honor of team captain as well. Bhardwaj competed in the all-around for the USA in the team prelims and on three of four events at team finals, helping the USA win the silver medal. Bhardwaj had the eighth-highest all-around score in prelims and placed sixth in the floor exercise finals.
Waller coached another Bruin to elite success in 2010, helping guide Vanessa Zamarripa to the U.S. National Team after an eighth-place all-around finish at the Visa Championships.
One of the United States' all-time gymnastics greats, Waller was a member of the National Team from 1989-97 and captured the U.S. all-around crown in 1991 and pommel horse titles from 1991-93. He was an all-around finalist at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and took fifth on the pommel horse, just one-tenth of a point away from the gold medal. In addition, Waller placed in the Top 6 on the pommel horse at the 1993 World Championships and won three medals at the 1990 Goodwill Games and a team gold at the 1995 Pan American Games. He was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2003.
At UCLA, Waller earned four All-America honors and helped the Bruins capture the NCAA title in 1987. He also won individual titles on the pommel horse in 1989 and the high bar in 1990. Every year from 1989-1993, Waller won either a U.S. or NCAA national title.
Waller, who graduated from UCLA in 1991, has 15 years of prior coaching experience and was selected the 2002 Southern California Level 7 Male Coach of the Year. Waller also served as a member of the USA Gymnastics Executive Committee and the 2000 Olympic team selection committee and chaired the Athlete's Council.
Waller and his wife Cindy have two daughters, Alexandra and Lilia. He and Cindy founded GymJam Summer Camp in 1997 and are owners of their own gym, Waller's GymJam Academy, in Santa Clarita.