GYM MAC Champions
Penny Jernigan
Position: Head Coach
Year: Freshman
Alma Mater: Campbell
Graduating Year: 1992
Eligibility: Freshman
Phone: (269) 387-3129
Jernigan Videos

Penny Jernigan was named the head coach of gymnastics at Western Michigan on Aug. 1, 2013.

Prior to taking the head position at Western Michigan, Jernigan was previously the associate head coach at North Carolina. In 18 years with the Tar Heels, Jernigan developed several talented student-athletes including two-time NCAA Champion and national record holder Courtney Bumpers, who earned All-America on balance beam in 2003 and on floor exercise in 2004 and 2005.In all, Jernigan coached all five of UNC's East Atlantic Gymnastics League championship teams (2002, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011) and 24 EAGL individual champions.  She has coached seven individual NCAA Championship finalists, including Morgan Evans, UNC's first NCAA regional all-around champion in 2011, and coached the Tar Heels to 11 consecutive team appearances at the NCAA Regional Championships (2002-12).

Jernigan boasts the honor of having coached the only three UNC gymnasts to ever earn perfect scores of 10.00 - Bumpers and Anna Wilson on floor exercise in 2003 and Brooke Wilson on balance beam in 2001.

During her time at UNC, Coach Jernigan helped raise the awareness of Tar Heels gymnastics.  Within a few months the UNC gymnastics Facebook page became one of the top four most popular collegiate gymnastics fan pages in the nation behind only UCLA, Alabama and Utah.  As a result, UNC's home meet attendance doubled in 2011 (No. 16) and doubled again in 2012 (No. 11).

The 1992 Campbell University graduate has extensive coaching experience outside the collegiate level as well, serving as the head coach of the Level 10/Elite Girls Team with GymCarolina Gymnastics Academy from 1992-98.  She has also been a national judge for the National Association of Women's Gymnastics Judges (NAWGJ) since 1994.

Jernigan served as a rules interpreter for women's gymnastics at the NCAA during 2012-13.  She was named the NCAA Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2004 as well as the EAGL Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011.

Jernigan is married to Rayme Jernigan and the couple have a daughter, Blythe.