Josh Nilson | Head Coach
Josh Nilson, who brought in 13 years of coaching experience, was hired as head coach of Temple women's gymnastics in July, 2018. Nilson was most recently the assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, arriving there after a stint at Penn State University.
During the 2017-18 season at Air Force, Nilson helped guide the Falcons to their highest conference finish in six years, and their highest USAG Collegiate Nationals finish in seven years. In 2016, Nilson started as the first assistant coach at Penn State before serving as the co-interim head coach in his final months before heading to Air Force.
While Nilson was with the Nittany Lions as co-interim head coach, they saw a jump from 45th in the nation to 31st in the final four competitions of the year, while qualifying two all-around competitors to the NCAA Championships. He was also nominated for Northeast Regional Co-Head Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, Nilson served as the recruiting coordinator for Penn State, while also working to schedule future competitions. He was the team's primary coach on both uneven bars and vault, in addition to being the main spotter on all four events.
From 2013-16, Nilson was the first assistant coach at Utah State and the head coach for vault and uneven bars. The Aggies advanced to the NCAA Regional Championships for the third consecutive season in 2016 and finished the regular season with an average of 48.833 on the uneven bars, which ranked 28th in the nation. In the Utah State record books, the season average of 48.833 ranks second-best in school history and was the highest average in 13 years.
The 2015 season was a banner year for the Aggies as they made their second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Regional Championships. The Aggies re-wrote the record books that year, recording two of the top four team scores, setting three of the top 10 vault scores and tallying a program-best season average of 48.938 on the vault. For his efforts during the 2015 season, Nilson earned North Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year honors for the second straight year.
Nilson spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Women's University from 2011-13, and was named the 2012 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Assistant of the Year and Midwest Independent Conference Assistant Coach of the Year after coaching the Pioneers' bars team to a 48.440 season average. On an individual level, he coached one student-athlete to the 2012 USAG Collegiate national title on bars.
During his time as an undergraduate at Utah State, Nilson was a student coach for women's gymnastics from 2005-08. He then spent three years as the second assistant coach before heading to Texas and returning to Utah in 2013. Nilson graduated from Utah State with a bachelor's degree in law and constitutional studies and a minor in family finance in 2010.
Nilson, a native of Cache Valley, Utah, is married to the former Amanda Corn. The couple has five sons, Tristan, Ezekiel, Remington, Liam and Asher.
Rachel Inniss | Assistant Coach
Rachel Inniss joined the Temple staff in August 2018. Inniss, a native of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, was a four-year gymnast for Auburn and brings several years of coaching and competitive experience to Temple.
Inniss served in two coaching capacities at Auburn. Inniss was a student coach as a fifth year student in 2012 and she spent the past two seasons as the volunteer women’s gymnastics coach. As a volunteer coach, she worked with beam and floor, did the choreography and had a hand in operations duties. At Temple, Inniss will hold many of the same responsibilities. While at Auburn, Inniss choreographed floor routines for two All-Americans and three All-SEC gymnasts. Simultaneously, she coached at the Auburn Gymnastics Academy and interned with the Director of Operations.
Inniss returned to her alma mater after being a professional dancer at Walt Disney World for four years. She danced three contracts as an Equity dancer at the Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage in Hollywood Studios.
As an athlete, Inniss amassed numerous accolades in her career at Auburn. She was the NCAA Regional Floor Champion and a NCAA National Championship Qualifier in 2010. She holds collegiate career highs of 9.925 on both floor and beam.
Inniss earned her undergraduate degree in public administration from Auburn in 2012 and has a 4-year-old daughter named Charlotte.
Zaakira Muhammad | Assistant Coach
After a four-year career as a gymnast at West Virginia University, Zaakira Muhammad joined the Temple gymnastics staff in August 2018. Muhammad, a native of Pennsauken, N.J., studied journalism and sports communication at West Virginia; earning her B.S. in journalism in May 2018.
Muhammad had a standout career as a Mountaineer. She was a two-time team captain and three-time recipient of the Linda Burnette-Good Award, which honors the team’s most valuable gymnast. Her athletic accolades include earning a spot on the NCAA All-American Second Team and All-Big 12 Championship Team in floor, qualifying for the NCAA 2017 National Championship in 2017 and tallying over 1500 career points. Muhammad ranks No. 19 in West Virginia gymnastics history with 10 career scores of 9.9 or better. She also held the highest all-around score of the season twice. On the academic front, Muhammad was named to the academic All-Big 12 Gymnastics Second Team and was named to the Dean’s List in December and May of 2018.
While at West Virginia, Muhammad gained experience mentoring young gymnastics as a coach and counselor for the West Virginia University gymnastics summer camp. She also was an assistant level 10 coach for TNT Elite Gymnastics. Here, she coached leaps and jumps on floor and beam worked with the athletes in individual and group settings.
Muhammad is currently a graduate student at Temple, pursuing her master's degree in higher education.