Coaches Corner: Chris Weiss

By Matt Hopkinson

New women’s gymnastics assistant coach Chris Weiss may be brand new to this job, but not to the school or the sport. Weiss graduated from NIU in 2005 with a degree in kinesiology and is a former member of the NIU men’s gymnastics club. The Northern Star sat down to talk with the newly minted coach about his past experiences, his present position, and his future goals.

Northern Star: What was your level of participation with gymnastics in your time at NIU?

Chris Weiss: When I came here to NIU it was about three year’s dead. So when I came to NIU I helped rekindle the men’s program, which has continued to make it until today. So in 2002 it rekindled and has been going strong since then.

NS: What did you do to get the club going again?

CW: It was just me and another buddy of mine, we came to Northern. When I first came to Northern I started coaching gymnastics at Energym Sports Campus in Sycamore, so we had a facility to train at. So it was just kind of me and him and then through our network of gymnasts we just started recruiting onto the team. After a couple years we went through Northern to get recognition and some funds and sponsorships to become an official club.

NS: How long have you been involved with gymnastics at any level?

CW: I started when I was a freshman in high school, so [I was] about 14 years old when I got into it.

NS: What were you doing before you came into this position?

CW: When I came to Northern in 2002 I started working at Energym Sports Campus [and] coached the boys program. [I] eventually become the director of that boys program. Just before I graduated school I opened up my own business. It’s called Custom Fit. It’s a personal training studio…. It’s actually overlapping. I still do that along wit the coaching.

NS: What about this job is appealing to you?

CW: Multiple things. One, it was great to get back into gymnastics and two, although I loved coaching boys gymnastics, to coach this level of gymnastics is something I jumped on. Another reason is [head coach] Sam [Morreale] presented me with not only being an event coach but with kind of being their strength and conditioning coach. So I’m able to tie my gymnastics background with my strength background, and I felt I could really be a benefit to this team. In addition to that, both Sam and [Daw]nita [Teague], I’ve known them for over 10 years because they both coached at Energym Sports Campus so it’s a very comforting and welcoming environment.

NS: What’s your end game with gymnastics?

CW: For gymnastics, right now I like the position I’m in. I feel like I’m an asset to the program in a way they haven’t had before. As far as a head coach, no major aspirations to be a head coach. Life aspirations would be to be a head strength coach at either a major university or a high-level sports team such as a professional hockey team.

NS: If you could have any superpower what would it be?

CW: Anything Superman has, he is the epitome of superheroes. That’s possibly the hardest question you could ask me. I think to see people’s thoughts. Just kind of forecast what they’re thinking, that type of thing.