News - Greenville University gymnastics launches recruiting efforts with hiring of head coaches

Greenville University gymnastics launches recruiting efforts with hiring of head coaches

Gymnastics_coaches_web.jpg

GREENVILLE, Il. -  Greenville University has hired two head coaches to actively recruit and lead the institution's men's and women's gymnastics programs. The teams will premiere in the fall 2022 competitive season. GU announced its partnership with USA Gymnastics for the addition of the programs in August.

 

Bill Hopkins of Springfield, Mo., a former two-time national championship gymnastics coach and four-time national coach of the year, was chosen as GU’s first director of gymnastics and head women's gymnastics coach. Additionally, Zach Peters, a two-time NCAA team championship qualifying student-athlete from the University of Nebraska and a five-time junior national champion, has been selected as head men's gymnastics coach.

While at Southeast Missouri State University from 1979-1997, two of Hopkins’ gymnastics teams won the Division II National Gymnastics titles, and he coached seven regional championship teams. Seven members of his program became individual national champions, and he coached 58 All-Americans, 52 national scholar athletes, and 64 United States collegiate national team members.

During this time, he also created the United States Collegiate National championship and the Midwest Independent Conference. From 1984-1990, he was a national coaches representative, and he served as chairperson of the National Invitational Tournament of Women's Gymnastics committee.

Active nationally and internationally, he was the head coach of the USA gymnastics team for a competitive European tour in 1988 and visiting coach for the West Germany national team that was training for the world championships in 1989.

Since 2015, he has been the advanced level women's gymnastics coach at Missouri Valley Gymnastics in Ozark, Mo. During his time with Missouri Valley Gymnastics, he has produced 10 state champions and five regional champions. His gymnasts have attended NCAA Division I and Division III institutions around the country.

Before relocating to Springfield, he served as the district director of student activities for the Lindbergh School District in St. Louis from 1997-2015.

Hopkins earned his bachelor's degree in education and master's degree in physical education from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

Zach Peters comes to Greenville after a successful career at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. A competitive standout, he participated in the NCAA team finals two years - in 2018 in the vault and in 2019 in the floor and vault.

Twice a team captain, he was a College Gymnastics Association (CGA) All-America scholar-athlete three times, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2021, and Academic All-Big Ten for three years.

He earned the Nebraska Bronze Academic Medallion in 2020, and the Big Ten Sportsmanship award in 2021.

Each year, he was selected to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll and four times to the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.

He scored career highs of 14.40 in the floor exercise and 14.60 in the vault.

Peters competed on the floor and vault rotations to help the Huskers to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2019.

Before Nebraska, Peters competed for Gene Watson at Indy School of Gymnastics and Interactive Academy from 2008-16. He was under Chad Ford at DeVeaus School of Gymnastics for his final season in 2017. Peters is a six-time junior national champion and claimed the vault and floor titles in 2016. He also took the title on vault in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and the floor exercise in 2017.

Peters attended Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind. At Nebraska, he majored in psychology.

The Greenville University gymnastics center will be located at the former location of Greenville's Ford dealership on Route 40 in Greenville. The facility is scheduled to undergo a complete renovation as it is prepared to host these two programs, plus a center that is open to the community.

Prospective student-athletes are encouraged to fill out Greenville University's recruiting form to express their interest in joining the program.

This story was published on September 22, 2021