NORMAN, Okla. — OU Gymnastics Coach Mark Williams is an alchemist of sorts.
He works to turn muscles of steel into Olympic gold.
He’s coached five of the eight men on the 2012 men’s Olympic Gymnastics team.
“There’s no secret formula,” Mark laughs. “Sorry. It’s just hard work.”
Hard work that’s paid off.
Mark’s first Olympian was 2004 silver medalist Guard Young.
“I don’t think I realized just how stressed I was until a few days later when I felt like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I’m going through such soreness and withdrawal, I feel like I did all those routines with him,” Mark said.
In 2008, he coached Jonathon Horton who came home with two Olympic medals.
“And, now we have a larger group representing Oklahoma, representing the United States at the Olympic games.”
Steven Legendre, a 2012 Olympic alternate, said, “Mark is an incredible coach. His style is a little different than a lot of coaches. He’s quieter.”
Mark Williams is known to be laid back but focused.
“His planning is just so dead on,” 2012 Olympian Jake Dalton said. “He breaks us down in the beginning when you need to be broken down. He makes it really, really, really hard when it needs to be.”
Coach Williams produces athletes who are seemingly unlimited in their potential.
Mark said, “They’re jumping higher. They’re doing more flips. They’re pushing the boundaries of what’s humanly possible.”