Longtime gymnastics coach steps down

Fred Turoff has coached the team since 1976, including during its transition from a Division I squad to a club after July 1, 2014.

Fred Turoff, who has coached the men’s gymnastics team since 1976, has stepped down and will assist Jesse Kitzen-Abelson in his transition to take over the team, he wrote in an email to The Temple News on Friday.

Turoff coached the team for 38 years as a Division I squad before the university cut the program effective on July 1, 2014. He continued to coach the team as it transitioned to operating as a club under Campus Recreation. Turoff won 18 Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League and Eastern College Athletic Conference titles during his Division I tenure.

Turoff competed for Temple from 1966-69 and represented the United States at several international competitions, including the 1970 World Gymnastic Championships. 

A retirement celebration for Turoff will take place on Saturday night at the Hilton on City Line Avenue in West Philadelphia. More than 70 former gymnasts will attend, Turoff wrote in an email.

Kitzen-Abelson joined the club as an assistant in September 2016. He competed for Temple under Turoff’s leadership until he graduated in 2011, and his dad was on the team from 1969-71. Kitzen-Abelson coached in South Africa from September 2011 to June 2016 before assuming his role at Temple.

The team will have an intrasquad meet on Dec. 8 before its first competition in January.

Evan Easterling

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