Charlie Nelson, an acclaimed contributor for the University of Illinois at Chicago men's gymnastics program for ten years, begins his sixth season as an assistant coach for the Flames.
One year after completing his standout gymnastics career at UIC, Head Coach "CJ" Johnson brought Nelson back as a student-assistant coach. The following season Nelson was hired full-time as an assistant coach.
Nelson enjoyed an awesome tenure as a member of the Flames men's gymnastics team. From 1996-1999 the Oak Park, Ill., native became a force on the still rings for Johnson' teams.
Nelson's competitive career was capped off with the two most prestigious awards in the UIC men's gymnastics program. Nelson was named the winner of the Robert Gunnells Memorial Award in 1999, an honor given annually to the senior UIC gymnast who displays exemplary leadership, sportsmanship and goodwill towards the community. Nelson also earned the Edward Jay Saleh Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to a senior male gymnast who has demonstrated both academic merit and gymnastics excellence.
In 2003 Nelson's outstanding coaching was recognized when he was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the Flames to one of their best ECAC finishes.
Nelson played an even bigger role in 2004, helping UIC smash their previous-best performance in ECAC competition to win the 2004 ECAC/EIGL Cup while assisting Eric Novick to the ECAC all-around title and Neil Faustino to All-America status on vault at the NCAA Championships.