Bob Starkell, who has served as interim head coach of the Illinois women's gymnastics team this season, was named head coach Tuesday, athletic director Ron Guenther announced.
Starkell served as an assistant under former UI coach Lynn Brueckman for six years before taking over the coaching duties.
"We're very pleased to name Coach Starkell to this permanent head coaching position. He has demonstrated an extensive knowledge and expertise with the sport, excellent recruiting skills and the ability to manage the program from a head coaching position," Guenther said.
Starkell, 32, was named the 1999 NCAA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year. At Illinois, he has worked primarily with floor exercise, vault and bars.
"This is an exciting opportunity for my family. Initially, it was an opportunity I was pursuing but didn't know how it would work out," Starkell said.