Kurt Hettinger
Kurt Hettinger

Tuscola, Ill.

Assistant Coach

Alma Mater:
Illinois (1999)

Kurt Hettinger completed his fifth season with the Auburn gymnastics program in 2013 as an assistant coach. He serves as the recruiting coordinator and the bars coach, as well as assistant on floor and vault.

A relentless recruiter, Hettinger's 2012-13 recruiting class was again ranked in the top 10 by led by All-American Caitlin Atkinson.

Hettinger was instrumental as Auburn posted seven consecutive scores of 196.000 or higher for the first time in program history and recorded nine scores of 196.000 or higher out of 13 meets including one meet above 197, another program first. Additionally, he coached the Auburn bars lineup to an 18th-place RQS nationally.

Under the tutelage of Hettinger, Auburn finished 2012 ranked 10th nationally on bars RQS at 49.170. The Tigers recorded the second-highest bars score in program history with a total of 49.475 against Florida. Additionally, three Auburn gymnasts (Kylie Shields, Petrina Yokay and Allyson Sandusky) finished the 2012 season ranked in the top 24 nationally on uneven bars.

Kurt Hettinger web action 2013

In his role as recruiting coordinator, Hettinger helped haul in the 10th-ranked signing class in the country in 2011 according to He was selected as a Co-Assistant Coach of the Year for the Central Region in 2011 by the NCAA.

In 2009, Hettinger helped Auburn to a No. 4 national ranking, the highest in school history. The Tigers had their longest stint in the Top 10 (eight weeks) that season and finished the year ranked 11th on bars with a .962 hit rate. Auburn also finished fourth on bars at the 2009 SEC Championships with the help of Allyson Sandusky, who earned an All-SEC selection during that competition.

Hettinger came to Auburn after five years as an assistant with the women's gymnastics program at Kent State. He served as the head bars coach while assisting with technique on vault and floor. He helped guide the Golden Flashes to three team records, four individual top-10 scores on bars and eight individual titles on his respective events at Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship meets.

Hettinger played an integral role in Kent State's three NCAA Regional Championship appearances, two MAC Championship titles and three-consecutive regular-season titles. Kent State's 2007 bars squad spent the entire season ranked in the Top 25, ending with a final regular season ranking at No. 22.

Outside the gym, Hettinger served as Kent State's recruiting coordinator and summer camp director.

Prior to Kent State, Hettinger spent five years at the Champaign County YMCA, assisting with the development of the junior boys program, shaping Class VI through Elite level gymnasts. A two-time member of the USAG Region V Junior Elite Boys Team Coaching Staff, he guided former University of Illinois standout Jon Drollinger to the top of the junior ranks, which included competition in floor, still rings and all-around finals at the 2001, 2002 and 2003 Junior Olympic National Championships. Drollinger went on to earn NCAA All-American honors on still rings in 2008.

Hettinger was a four-year letter-winner with the University of Illinois gymnastics team from 1996-99, helping the Fighting Illini to a third-place finish at the 1998 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships.

A native of Tuscola, Ill., Hettinger graduated from the University of Illinois in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history. He earned a master's degree in education from Kent State in 2005. Hettinger and his wife, Katherine, were married in July 2006, and they have two children, Cameron and Audrey.