March 8, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford men's gymnastics co-captain Jordan Nolff was a MPSF All-Academic selection in 2011 as well as a member of two national championship teams on The Farm. The senior from Milburn, N.J. sat down to discuss his road to Stanford, growing up in Milburn, N.J. and what it's like dating a member of Stanford's women's gymnastics team.
How did you end up at Stanford?
"I've been interested in Stanford since I was in eighth grade. My club team travelled to Oakland every year to compete in the Pacific Coast Classic and I was able to meet the gymnastics teams from Cal and Stanford and talk to the guys. I talked to Thom my senior year at the meet and that was my first real introduction to the program. The combination of athletics and academics was exactly what I was looking for. I like the atmosphere out here because you have all of these motivated people but everyone is much more relaxed about everything than it was at my high school."
What influence has the Stanford coaching staff had on you?
"After my first year here, Thom (Glielmi) knew how to get the most out of me. He's such an experienced coach that he knows how to motivate you and push you to do well in the gym. Brett McClure is a great compliment to Thom. He's more focused on technical stuff and his experience as an Olympic gymnast has really benefitted me. Brett's helped me channel my pre-meet anxiety into something that I can use to my advantage."
What was it like growing up in Milburn, N.J.?
"I grew up about thirty minutes from New York City. Millburn High School was one of the top public schools in the state and everyone was really motivated to get into a top college. In a way it was similar to Stanford in that there were a lot of smart people that were motivated to succeed, but it was definitely more competitive back home. My parents have always been really supportive of my gymnastics. I have a younger brother who was along for the ride over the years. We had a 30-minute drive to my gym and a couple of hours every day for practice. If you ask my mom, she would say that there are a lot of things that I'm forgetting."
If you had a day when you couldn't do gymnastics or school work, how would you spend it?
"A lot of guys on the team last year played tennis and Alex Buscaglia is always asking me for a match. We used to play doubles all the time with Lindsay Burdette so that's something I would do. Ideally, I would also go skiing for a few hours. I've been playing tennis and skiing all my life. One thing I would like to do while I'm out here is go to L.A."
What's it like having your girlfriend, Alyssa Brown, on the women's gymnastics team?
"Alyssa and I have been dating since freshman year and it's been really nice having someone to talk to at the end of the day that understands everything that's going on both in and out of the gym. We've also acted as the liaison between our two teams since freshmen year - I'm the point of contact for my team to the women's team and Alyssa is the one for her team. "