Doug Byrnes, owner of Spirit Gymnastics, is also the head coach of the Hamline Pipers. Doug began his career with Hamline in 1996 as an assistant coach and took over as head coach at the start of the 1999-2000 season. The Pipers went on to win their first NCGA National Championship and produced their first all-around champion in Lindsay Odom.
During the 2001 season, Byrnes coached Hamline’s second consecutive all-around champion and first uneven bars champion in Melissa Stanton. He was named Co-WIAC Coach of the Year after the 2005 season and won the award by himself in 2007. The Pipers have earned 15 All-America nods during Byrnes’ tenure, including Sarah Prosen in 2008 (floor exercise).
During a coaching career that has included 12 years in the college ranks, 19 years of USA gymnastics and three years of high school, he’s had the opportunity to work with many USAG regional and national qualifiers, high school state meet participants, and collegiate gymnasts and champions around the country.
Placing priority on teaching new skills and improving the gymnastics of his athletes, his leadership is crucial to achieving a successful season. In addition to the Piper team, he directs and coaches for the Spirit Gymnastics club, which instructs recreational classes through USAG competitive level gymnastics.
He holds a degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and practiced structural engineering for eight years prior to taking over as head coach. Outside the gym, Byrnes is an avid outdoor enthusiast and continues his passionate and more often, painful, pursuit of rugby.