In her first two seasons as the Tigers' head coach, Vicki Chliszczyk was named as the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Coach of the Year twice. She led the Tigers to a combined 38-6 record.
Last season, the Tigers finished as ECAC runners-up to Pennsylvania by the narrowest of margins as Penn came from behind to win the title by 0.025 points.
With Towson re-joining the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) this season, Coach Chliszczyk is focused on returning the Tigers’ program to NCAA regional competition.
The Tigers, who have qualified for NCAA regionals 14 times since 1987, have not competed as a team at an NCAA regional meet since the 2000 season.
With that goal in mind, the former University of Maryland assistant coach has upgraded the Tigers’ schedule significantly again this season.
Towson is joining George Washington, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh and Rutgers in the EAGL. A charter member of the EAGL, the Tigers competed in the EAGL from 1996 to 2004.
Although it will be a challenge, Coach Chliszczyk (pronounced Cull - liss - chick) has already proven that she isn’t someone who is afraid of a challenge.
When she was named as the Tigers’ head gymnastics coach in June of 2010, she became the successor to Dick Filbert, the Tigers’ highly-successful coach for 28 years and the 1990 National Coach of the Year. The winningest coach in school history, Filbert retired after the 2010 season. During his tenure, he led the Tigers to 491 victories and 14 conference titles.
A native of Milton, Ontario, Canada, Chliszczyk was named as only the fourth head coach in the 43-year history of the program.
In her first season as the Tigers’ coach, she led the team to an eye-opening 18-1 record. She also guided the Tigers to championships at the Temple University Invitational and the Cornell Big Red Invitational as well as Towson’s own Shelli Calloway Memorial Invitational.
Along the way, she also coached the Tigers to impressive wins over a pair of East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) opponents, George Washington and Rutgers.
Although the Tigers came up short in their quest to win a seventh straight Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship, she was honored as the ECAC Coach of the Year.
During her five seasons as an assistant coach at Maryland, she was the Terrapins’ balance beam coach and also assisted in all aspects of the program. For the first four years, she served as an assistant coach to Bob Nelligan, who guided the Terps’ program for 31 seasons.
In her final season at Maryland, she was an assistant coach for Brett Nelligan, who succeeded his father as the Terrapins’ head coach.
“Vicki was a tremendous asset to our team in many ways, but especially her contributions to our balance beam team,” said Bob Nelligan, who hired Coach Chliszczyk in 2005. “Our work on the beam came a long way in large part to her efforts.
“When she first arrived at Maryland, I was impressed,” he added. “She quickly gained the team’s respect because of her dedication, fairness and support.”
A 20-year member of the Milton Springers Gymnastics Club in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Chliszczyk was a competitive gymnast for 12 years. She competed in the Provincial Championships for ten consecutive years and she made such an impact on her club team that the Milton Springers Gymnastics Club established an award in her name.
The “Vicki Chliszczyk Award for Dedication” is presented at the end of each season to the club’s most dedicated athlete.
Chliszczyk graduated from York University in North York, Ontario, Canada with a B.A. degree in Philosophy.
After graduation, she moved to the United States to begin her gymnastics coaching career.
In 2001, she joined the staff at the renowned Woodward Gymnastics Camp, a summer gymnastics camp in Woodward, Pa. During her nine years of coaching at Woodward, she served as a Program Director and a member of the Master Staff. In her role at Woodward, she managed a staff of 30 coaches that trained 200-300 gymnasts each week.
At Woodward, she worked with gymnasts from virtually every level while scheduling and organizing all class and clinic activities. She also hired, trained and evaluated staff members while developing and presenting instructional clinics to the staff and visiting coaches. In addition, she presented and attended numerous coaching and spotting clinics and seminars.
Coach Chliszczyk began her collegiate coaching career in 2002-03 when she served as a volunteer assistant coach at Western Michigan University. She assisted in training in all four events and worked with all aspects of the Broncos’ program.
While she was serving as a volunteer assistant at Western Michigan, she also worked as a team coach at Branch Gymnastics Club in Battle Creek, Michigan. In two years at Branch Gymnastics Club, she worked with gymnasts from Level 4 through 10. In addition to performing spotting duties on all four events, she developed, organized and implemented daily workouts on all four events. She also developed and managed strength and conditioning activities for Levels 9 and 10 gymnasts.
In 2005, she joined the staff at Maryland and made an immediate impact on the program. In her first year with the Terrapins, they posted a 16-12 record and finished fifth in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League.
In 2009, the Terps earned a berth in the NCAA Southeast Regionals where they finished sixth. In Bob Nelligan’s final season as head coach, Maryland was ranked in the top 25 for most of the year.
In 2010, Coach Chliszczyk was named as the EAGL Assistant Coach of the Year as she helped Maryland earn a second straight NCAA Southeast regional appearance.
During her tenure at Maryland, she coached an impressive group of beam workers, including Abigail Adams, ‘11 who was the 2009 EAGL co-champion on balance beam.
Coach Chliszczyk also worked with four gymnasts who were named first team All-EAGL, including Talia Tossone, ‘10, Rachel Colon, ‘07, and Brandi George, ‘10. With the help of Coach Chliszczyk, Adams was the EAGL co-champion in the all-around in 2010.
In addition to her experience working the summer camp at Woodward’s, Coach Chliszczyk has also coached at several other collegiate gymnastics summer camps.
For three years, she worked for Coach Gail Goodspeed at the University of New Hampshire’s Gymnastics Camp. She was also part of Coach Mark Stevenson’s staff at North Carolina State University’s Gymnastics Camp for two years.
Coach Chliszczyk, whose parents and brother still reside in Ontario, has conducted her own gymnastics camps at Towson the last two summers.