01-13-17 Gymnastics vs Georgia
04-02-16 - NCAA gymnastics regional - Ann Arbor, Mich.
Kurt Hettinger is in his 10th season as an assistant coach for the Tigers, serving as the recruiting coordinator, bars coach, and assists on floor and vault.
During his time with at Auburn, Hettinger has been recognized multiple times for his efforts in the program’s continuous growth. In 2015, he joined former Auburn assistant Jenny Rowland as both were named the NCAA co-Assistant Coach of the Year. Hettinger was also selected as the NCAA Central Region co-Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011.
At the 2017 SEC Championship, a pair of Tigers captured All-SEC recognition on bars - Emma Engler, Samantha Cerio.
As the program’s primary recruiter, Hettinger has helped Auburn bring in some of the top recruiting classes in the nation on a consistent basis. That included the 2012-13 class that was ranked in the Top 10 and led by now a nine-time All-American Caitlin Atkinson.
In the gym, Hettinger’s expertise on bars has shown through the continued progress of the program throughout the last eight years. Four of Auburn’s top five bars scores have come with him at the helm of the apparatus, including a program-record 49.525 in 2015. In addition, four of the programs best individual scores have come under Hettinger, including Atkinson’s 9.975 as a junior in 2015.
During his tenure, Hettinger’s bars corps has finished each regular season among the nation’s top 25. In 2016, Auburn finished eighth nationally with a 49.295 RQS score.
Since Hettinger has been on The Plains, the Auburn program has grown to be one of the nation’s top gymnastics teams. In the last two seasons, Auburn has reached the NCAA Championships twice, including a Super Six appearance in 2015. The Tigers also picked up its first NCAA Regional win, taking the 2016 Ann Arbor Regional as the top-ranked team in that meet.
Hettinger came to Auburn after a five-year stint at Kent State as an assistant coach. 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.
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 three children, one son, Cameron, and two daughters, Audrey and Elise.