Aug. 4, 2014
PITTSBURGH – University of Pittsburgh head gymnastics coach Debbie Yohman has announced the addition of Robert Drass as the assistant head coach beginning this season.
Drass brings over 27 years of top-level gymnastics experience – both as an athlete and a coach – to his new position.
“We are extremely fortunate to bring someone of Rob’s caliber and experience level in to join our staff,” said Coach Yohman,” Yohman said. “I have known Rob since he began coaching and have followed his progress through the coaching ranks. He is well respected by his peers, administrators and the gymnastics community. He cares deeply about the student-athlete and her welfare, and remains very passionate about our sport. He brings a wealth of knowledge to our endeavors and will expand our recruiting base.”
“I’m really excited to be coming to Pitt and the city of Pittsburgh,” Drass said. “It is a great time for Pitt with the move to the ACC last year. My goal for this year is to help Debbie (Yohman) lead Pitt to an NCAA regional championship. I want to help put Pitt gymnastics on the map.
Prior to joining the Panthers, Drass was the head women’s gymnastics coach at the University of Missouri from 1999-2013. During his time at the helm of the Tigers, he led Mizzou to a total of seven top-20 NCAA finishes, six of those since 2005. In 2010, Drass coached the team to a NCAA Regional Championship and a 12th place finish at the NCAA National Championship.
Drass received personal recognition as well, meriting Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in 2002. He was also named NACGC/W Regional Coach of the Year in 2004 and Regional Head Coach of the Year in 2006. In addition to his personal accolades, Drass has helped numerous student-athletes achieve individual honors such as conference and regional championships and All-America status.
The former Missouri head coach was also a member of the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Committee from 2002-2006.
Throughout the past year, Drass coached at various clubs, camps and clinics. During his career, he continuously demonstrated a commitment to teaching young gymnasts, running his own program, the Tiger Academy, in Columbia, Mo., from 1999-2013.
Drass first entered the coaching ranks while a graduate student at the University of Nebraska. He served as the first assistant coach and primary recruiter for the Huskers. Drass managed the daily training assignments, event lineups, and the team’s training facilities and equipment. During his time on the staff, he helped lead Nebraska to five Big 8/Big 12 Titles and four NCAA Championship appearances – advancing to the “Super 6” twice. In 1996, Drass was named the Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
During his own career as gymnast, Drass competed collegiately at the Division I level for Penn State from 1986-1991. The Nittany Lions advanced to the National Championships each of those years.
Drass graduated from Penn State University in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing with an emphasis on finance and computer science. He earned an MBA with a concentration in strategic management and long-range planning from the University of Nebraska in 1994.
Drass is married to Dr. Joy C. Drass and they have two children, Molly (12) and James (9).
“The Panther gymnasts had a very productive summer of training and we are looking forward to the arrival of our new coach,” Yohman said. “This should be a great partnership and everyone from my athletes to support staff is excited to put the pieces in place as Rob arrives and becomes a part of our program and the goals we are striving to reach. I am happy to welcome Rob and his family to Pittsburgh, and anxious to get started on the new year.”