We are reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Debating with your friends who’s the best Gymnastics coach?

Béla Károlyi, Márta Károlyi, or Valeri Liukin?

Here is our list of the best Gymnastics coaches of all time.

Do you agree with our picks?

Best Gymnastics Coaches:

  1. Béla Károlyi
  2. Márta Károlyi
  3. Valeri Liukin
  4. Alexander Alexandrov
  5. Aimee Boorman
  6. John Geddert
  7. Peter Kormann
  8. Yevgeny Marchenko
  9. Liang Chow

#1 Béla Károlyi

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coached several Olympic and World Championship medalists
  • 📅 Years Active: 1963–1996
  • 👕 Athletes Coached: Nadia Comăneci, Mary Lou Retton, Kerri Strug, among others
  • 🌐 Nationality: Romanian

Béla Károlyi is renowned for his coaching career that produced numerous Olympic and World Championship stars. He famously coached Nadia Comăneci, the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0 at the Olympics.

With his wife Márta, Béla defected from Romania and continued their coaching success in the United States. His training methods were sometimes controversial but undeniably effective, producing champions like Mary Lou Retton and members of the “Magnificent Seven.”

Károlyi’s influence on gymnastics extends beyond coaching, as he played a significant role in developing the United States’ gymnastics program into a world powerhouse.

#2 Márta Károlyi

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coordinated U.S. Women’s Olympic gymnastics teams to gold
  • 📅 Years Active: 1963–2016
  • 👕 Athletes Coached: Part of the coaching duo for Nadia Comăneci and the U.S. Women’s ‘Magnificent Seven’
  • 🌐 Nationality: Romanian

Márta Károlyi, alongside her husband Béla, transformed gymnastics coaching. Under their guidance, several gymnasts achieved legendary status, including Nadia Comăneci.

After emigrating to the United States, Márta became the National Team Coordinator for USA Gymnastics, playing a pivotal role in the success of the U.S. teams at the Olympics and World Championships.

Her tenure with USA Gymnastics is considered one of the most successful in the sport’s history, characterized by consistent international victories and the establishment of a strong foundation for future generations.

#3 Valeri Liukin

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coached Olympic and World Championship medalists, including his daughter Nastia Liukin
  • 📅 Years Active: 1994–Present
  • 👕 Athletes Coached: Nastia Liukin, Rebecca Bross, and other elite gymnasts
  • 🌐 Nationality: Russian

Valeri Liukin, a former Olympic gymnast himself, established a reputation as one of the top gymnastics coaches in the world. He coached his daughter, Nastia Liukin, to Olympic glory in 2008, where she won an all-around gold medal.

His coaching career has been marked by the success of his athletes at elite levels, including World Championships and other international competitions.

Liukin’s technical expertise and knowledge of the sport have made him a sought-after coach and mentor in the gymnastics community, contributing significantly to the success of U.S. gymnastics.

#4 Alexander Alexandrov

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coached Olympic gold medalists and World Champions
  • 📅 Years Active: 1980s–Present
  • 👕 Athletes Coached: Aliya Mustafina, Svetlana Khorkina, and others
  • 🌐 Nationality: Russian

Alexander Alexandrov is known for his extensive contributions to Russian and international gymnastics. He has been instrumental in shaping the careers of numerous champions, such as Svetlana Khorkina and Aliya Mustafina.

His expertise has not only contributed to individual successes but also to the Russian national team’s strong performances on the world stage.

Under his guidance, athletes have displayed a combination of technical precision and artistic expression, hallmark traits of his coaching philosophy.

#5 Aimee Boorman

  • 🏆 Achievements: Head coach of Simone Biles, winner of 4 gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics
  • 📅 Years Active: 2003–Present
  • 👕 Athletes Coached: Simone Biles
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Aimee Boorman is celebrated as the coach of Simone Biles, considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. She guided Biles to numerous national and world titles and an Olympic triumph in 2016.

Her coaching style emphasizes the athlete’s mental well-being along with their physical training, which has been critical to the success of her gymnasts.

Boorman’s positive impact on Biles’s career and her ability to create champions while fostering a supportive environment has been recognized and respected in the gymnastics community.

#6 John Geddert

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coached the U.S. Women’s team to gold at the 2012 London Olympics
  • 📅 Years Active: 1984–2018
  • 👕 Athletes Coached: Jordyn Wieber, the U.S. Women’s ‘Fierce Five’
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

John Geddert was the head coach of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team during the 2012 London Olympics, where the team dubbed the “Fierce Five” earned the gold medal.

His coaching career included mentoring individual champions like Jordyn Wieber, who became a world all-around champion.

However, Geddert’s career and legacy were later overshadowed by controversy and serious allegations, leading to a tragic and complex end to his life and coaching tenure.

#7 Peter Kormann

  • 🏆 Achievements: Bronze medalist as an athlete in 1976, coached Olympic and World Championship medalists
  • 📅 Years Active: 1983–Present
  • 👕 Athletes Coached: Has coached multiple successful U.S. gymnasts
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Peter Kormann achieved distinction both as an Olympic medal-winning gymnast and as a respected coach. As a competitor, he made history by winning a bronze medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, ending a long drought for U.S. men’s gymnastics.

Turning to coaching, Kormann continued his contribution to the sport by guiding athletes to success at both national and international levels, including Olympic and World Championship events.

His commitment to the development of gymnastics in the United States has been evident throughout his career, fostering a legacy of excellence and passion for the sport.

#8 Yevgeny Marchenko

  • 🏆 Achievements: Co-coached Carly Patterson to an all-around gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics
  • 📅 Years Active: Late 1990s–Present
  • 👕 Athletes Coached: Carly Patterson and other elite gymnasts
  • 🌐 Nationality: Kazakhstani-American

Yevgeny Marchenko established himself as a top gymnastics coach by co-coaching Carly Patterson, the 2004 Olympic all-around champion.

His coaching career is noted for his ability to develop gymnasts who are competitive at the highest levels, succeeding at both World Championships and the Olympics.

Marchenko’s role in the U.S. gymnastics scene has been significant, fostering talent that has kept the country at the forefront of international gymnastics competitions.

#9 Liang Chow

  • 🏆 Achievements: Coached gold medalists Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas
  • 📅 Years Active: 1998–Present
  • 👕 Athletes Coached: Shawn Johnson, Gabby Douglas
  • 🌐 Nationality: Chinese-American

Liang Chow has made a significant impact as a gymnastics coach in the U.S. He led Shawn Johnson to four Olympic medals in 2008, including a gold on the balance beam.

Liang’s expertise was further highlighted when he coached Gabby Douglas to the Individual All-Around gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

His coaching style emphasizes technical precision and has contributed to the success of U.S. gymnastics on the international stage, shaping the careers of athletes who have become role models and inspirations for upcoming gymnasts around the world.



Who is the greatest gymnastics coach of all time?

Bela Karolyi is often regarded as the greatest gymnastics coach for his work with multiple Olympic and World Champions, including Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton.

Who was the most successful gymnastics coach?

Martha Karolyi, Bela’s wife and coaching partner, is the most successful, leading the USA Women’s Gymnastics Team to numerous Olympic and World medals during her tenure.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning ‘real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments