Saint Leo University acrobatics and tumbling head coach Allie Williams has stepped down from the program, to spend more time with her family after welcoming her first child last year.
Williams was hired as the first head coach of the acro and tumbling program in November 2018 — then Saint Leo’s newest and 21st intercollegiate sport.
Williams spent her first year recruiting and building the first collegiate acrobatics program in the state of Florida, while also procuring necessary equipment, uniforms and staffing.
The program’s first season of competition in spring 2020 was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Williams herself was a four-year standout at Baylor University, helping lead the team to three national championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017. She also scored individual event national titles in 5 element Acro (2015), Pyramid Heat 1 (2015), and multiple titles in Pyramid Heat 2 (2015, 2017).
Lions assistant coach Joely Smith will serve as the interim head coach for the program. A search will be conducted at a later date when COVID-19 protocols allow for the process to occur, according to a release from the school’s athletics department.
“We will always be grateful to Coach Williams for starting the Acrobatics & Tumbling program at Saint Leo,” Saint Leo athletics director Fran Reidy said, in a release. “Allie built things from the ground up, not only in recruiting great student-athletes but also in equipment needs, logistics, and promoting a new sport. We wish Allie, and her family, all the best as they start their newest journey as proud parents.”
Acrobatics and tumbling, a discipline of USA Gymnastics, is the evolution of different forms of gymnastics, and involves tumbling, tosses, and acrobatic lifts and pyramids. Teams participate in head-to-head competition and are scored in six events, including compulsory, acro, pyramid, toss, tumbling and team.