Coach Profile

Associate Head Coach - Women's Gymnastics
Cal Gymnastics Coach Elisabeth

Elisabeth Crandall-Howell

Since joining the Cal women’s gymnastics staff, 2016 National Assistant Coach of the Year Crandall-Howell has been integral in Cal’s stellar ascent through the national rankings. The Bears finished the 2012 season ranked 49th nationally shortly before Crandall-Howell joined the program, and finished as high as 7th in 2017. Cal’s 33-spot rise from 2012-14 marks the largest margin of improvement in NCAA gymnastics history, a feat only one other school has achieved (Maryland, 1997-99). Under her tutelage, Cal has earned five consecutive trips to NCAA Regionals since 2013 and claimed its first team berth to the NCAA Championships in 2016.

As associate head coach, Crandall-Howell works with all aspects of the Cal women’s gymnastics program, including fitness and nutrition, academic support and character development both in and out of the gym. Additionally, Crandall-Howell lends her expertise as an international brevet judge to help strengthen Cal’s routines across the board.

Before Crandall-Howell joined the Cal coaching staff, the Bears were 47th on vault (48.620 RQS), 41st on bars (48.725 RQS), 44th on beam (48.285 RQS) and 58th on floor (48.330 RQS). In four years, she helped guide the Bears to the top 20 on four events, including a meteoric rise in one of Crandall-Howell’s primary areas of focus – the balance beam. Historically Cal’s weakest event, in 2016 the Bears improved from a No. 35 ranking and 48.770 RQS on the event in 2015, skyrocketing to No. 13 with a 49.205 RQS in 2016. Cal ranked 9th on vault (49.185 RQS), 19th on bars (49.150 RQS) and 11th on floor (49.295) in 2016.

In her time at Cal, Crandall-Howell’s leadership has been most evident on beam. After posting a 48.285 Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) on the event in 2012, Cal finished 2013 with a 49.015 RQS and a 49.275 season-high on the event, which was also the program’s second highest beam score in program history. In 2014, the Bears broke the 49.0 mark on beam for the first time since 2008, and continued to break it, posting four team scores of 49.0 or better. The beam team combined for nine of Cal’s 33 event titles. The 2016 beam team garnered praise around the nation for its improvement, twice setting the program record on the event – and both times outside of Cal’s home gym. The Bears shattered the previous program record (49.300) with a 49.325 at Arizona State, then followed it up with a new best 49.350 at UC Davis. At the 2016 Pac-12 Championships, three Bears matched their career-bests on beam.

In 2015, Crandall-Howell earned her first NACGC/W West Region Assistant Coach of the Year award. She helped guide the 2015 Bears to a program-record score of 197.325, along with program-record scores on vault (49.500) and floor (49.550). Cal turned in the second-highest bars score in school history (49.525). Cal’s 2015 floor lineup now owns four of the top five team scores on the event all-time.

The 2016 season saw Cal compete at the National Championships for the first time in over two decades thanks to detailed coaching from Crandall-Howell, who helped Cal post nine team totals that rank among the program’s all-time highest scores throughout the season. Crandall-Howell was named the National Assistant Coach of the Year.

Cal’s 2017 season saw the Bears improve their RQS on beam from 49.205 to 49.225 thanks to Crandall-Howell’s guidance, and the Bears posted their best NCAA Regional score in school history with a 196.300. She played a pivotal role in helping Desiree Palomares become the program’s first ever NCAA Regional beam champion, and for the fourth season in a row, Cal was represented at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships.

Crandall-Howell also sculpted Toni-Ann Williams as one of the nation’s top floor performers. In Williams’ freshman season, she checked in as the country’s fourth-ranked floor performer with a career-high 9.975 and 9.925 average through the regular season. Williams earned three NACGC/W Regular-Season All-America honors, was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and took home All-Pac-12 First Team All-Around laurels before being named the regional Gymnast of the Year. During Williams’ training for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Crandall-Howell’s international experience was essential in prepping Williams’ beam and floor routines for the world stage. Crandall-Howell assisted Williams in learning two new, high-level skills to meet her international goals – a double layout dismount on beam and a full-in third pass on floor. Williams successfully executed both in NCAA competition and was the only gymnast in the nation performing such difficult skills in her collegiate routines in 2016. Under Crandall-Howell’s tutelage, Williams also maintained her standing as one of the nation’s top floor gymnasts, ranking in the top 10 throughout the season.

Individually, Crandall-Howell was also crucial in the development of 2013 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Serena Leong, helping her to the third-highest beam score (9.90) and second-highest floor score (9.925) in program history, feats less than 10 Cal gymnasts have been able to accomplish. Jessica Howe wrapped up her freshman season with four beam titles and set a career-high 9.90 on the event alongside Leong.

Prior to her time at Cal, Crandall-Howell coached at the collegiate and club levels and spent six years as a member of the U.S. national team after which she was a student-athlete at BYU.

Just one of 16 active international brevet judging officials in the U.S., Crandall-Howell has judged each of the last three Olympic trials - including the 2012 trials in San Jose. From 2001-09, she was an official for U.S. Championships, and from 2006-07, she was the U.S. Apparatus Chairperson for uneven bars.

A seven-time U.S. National Team member from 1987-92, Crandall-Howell boasts a multitude of domestic and international accolades, travelling to Japan, Russia, Belgium, and Germany to represent the US. Most notably in 1991, she took home a gold medal at the USA Championships on uneven bars. Further, she also finished fourth on vault and eighth in the all-around. She was also a member of the silver medal winning team at the 1991 World Championships. Additionally, she finished 11th in the all-around at the 1992 Olympic trials. She medaled at the 1988 U.S. Championships on uneven bars and floor exercise, taking second in the all-around.
A full athletic scholarship student-athlete at Brigham Young University, Crandall-Howell was a two-time first-team All-American on the uneven bars. She helped the Cougars qualify to three NCAA Championships from 1994-96 and qualified on the individual level in 1993. In three of her four years in Provo, Utah, Crandall-Howell was the NCAA Regional uneven bars champion. She graduated in 1997 with a degree in physical education and health promotion.

She is married to Justin Howell, and they have three children - Jacob, Noah and Greyson.

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