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Ribble steps down, Wilcox to take over A&T program

Photo by Nate Barrett
Photo by Nate Barrett

MEQUON, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin Director of Athletics Dr. Rob Barnhill announced coaching changes for the Acrobatics & Tumbling program on Monday afternoon. Cristina Ribble is stepping down to purpose other professional opportunities and McKenzie Wilcox will be promoted to head coach.

Ribble was hired a year-and-a-half before the first-year Acrobatics & Tumbling program would begin competition in February, 2015. The Falcons competed against a variety of teams around the country, including powerhouses Baylor University and four-time defending national champion University of Oregon.

"I want to thank Cristina for her contributions to our program and dedication to her team," Barnhill expressed. "She undertook the awesome responsibility to start an Acrobatics & Tumbling program from scratch and she succeeded. Her DNA will be forever linked to our team and I wish her and her family the best."

Ribble brought an extensive knowledge base to CUW, in which she used to build a roster of 20 student-athletes. Those Falcons began practice in September of 2015 to prepare for the inaugural season. The first ever home competition against Hawaii Pacific University drew a boisterous and excited crowd of 1,186. CUW captured its first win in program history to close the season against Adrian College (241.375 – 237.730).

"I am honored to take on this new coaching role at CUW and am looking forward to another successful season from a different seat," Wilcox said. "My goal is to continue building onto the strong program that was formed last year by playing off of our previous season's strengths and adding some fresh talent to the mix. We have a strong freshmen class coming in, as well as a very dedicated returning class that is determined to show them the ropes. CUW's program can only go up from here and I am proud to play a part in building its legacy."

Wilcox was elevated to the head coaching position a year after serving as the program's graduate assistant. She helped Ribble in a variety of aspects; including recruiting, practice planning and event coaching.

Wilcox graduated from the University of Oregon and helped the program to four-consecutive National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association Championships. She was also a four-time NCATA Scholar-Athlete, maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average. In addition, Wilcox was named the Oregon Duck Cup Winner for providing community service.