Charlie Pond, who led Illinois to four NCAA men''s gymnastics titles, died Thursday.
Pond, who was living in Dewey, Ariz., was 88.
"Charlie was a great and compassionate man who influenced so many people, including myself," UI gymnastics coach Yoshi Hayasaki said. "He''s been a mentor to me."
Under Pond''s guidance, Illinois won national titles in 1950, ''55, ''56 and ''58. The Illini also won 11 consecutive Big Ten titles in a run that ended in 1960.
Pond, a gymnastics innovator, retired after the 1973 season. He finished 145-76-1 in 25 years.