If Steve Nunno Quotes were Motivational Posters

After a near two week absence, The Gymternet is back! We’re going to ease you into our coverage with a Spanny Tampson original, in honor of Shannon Miller’s book release – “If Steve Nunno Quotes were Motivational Posters.”

Nunno, who coached Miller to back-to-back World all-around titles and an historic seven Olympic medals, always had something to say. Love him or hate him, he was one of the more amusing coaches in U.S. history. Relive the madness through his ridiculous quotes below.

“You don’t need to know what time it is. It’s Miller time.” – Steve Nunno, June 14, 1992 after Miller’s watch stopped upon arriving in Baltimore for Olympic Trials | Baltimore Sun

“Stop crying! There are people everywhere!” – Steve Nunno, July 25, 1996 as Miller cried about under-performing on floor exercise in the Olympic all-around final | YouTube

“If Kim is world champion, and Shannon beats her, what does that make Shannon? Intergalactic champion?” – Steve Nunno, June 12, 1992 after Miller defeated Kim Zmeskal at Olympic Trials | Philadelphia Inquirer

“I just didn’t want her to go kiss somebody and throw up on them while receiving an award.” – Steve Nunno, April 30, 1993 after Miller skipped out on the medal ceremony at World Championships due to illness | LA Times

“She is cooking, and everyone knows it.” – Steve Nunno, July 30, 1992 prior to the Olympic all-around final | LA Times

“If there isn’t a controversy, it’s not a meet.” – Steve Nunno, June 14, 1992 in response to Bela Karolyi’s complaint about the percentage-based scoring system that allowed Miller to win Olympic Trials (Karolyi’s complaint was “In Siberia, in Africa, this would not happen. This is not patriotism. This is the only world champion this country has ever had. People would kill you in another country if you tried to diminish a national champion this way.” Who comes off crazier?!) | Baltimore Sun


“One girl is leaving here a champion, and one girl is destroyed.” – Steve Nunno, August 2, 1992 after Miller had a more successful Olympic Games than teammate and mortal enemy (the way Nunno describes the relationship, anyway) Kim Zmeskal | Philadelphia Inquirer

“It was a Kim and Shannon show. The victory goes to the one who tries harder, who is more committed, who is hungrier. The loser gets destroyed. And unfortunately, it’s a 16-year-old girl.” – Steve Nunno, August 2, 1992 after Miller’s domination over Zmeskal in Barcelona | LA Times

Article by Spanny Tampson


26 thoughts on “If Steve Nunno Quotes were Motivational Posters

    • During the 2013 fall season, my daughter competed in the Beachfest Invitational hosted by Epic Gymnastics in FL and he was the meet coordinator. Not sure if he was associated with the gym itself or one of its partners.


    • Steve Nunno is in Central Florida screwing over gyms and stealing little girls’ money. The guy is a FRAUD, THIEF, and compulsive LIAR. He stole $800 from my daughter. The guy is bad news!


      • yes he is. In Palm Beach he stole the meet funds paid by the compulsory girls at palm beach gymnastics to go on a family cruise and much more. he didn’t pay his coaches and staff for several months, he stole half of the money to pay for the uniforms, and on and on. this guy is is a disgrace to the sport; a liar, egotistic, and unscrupulous person.


      • I don’t doubt it. When I was a kid, he coached at a gym around the corner from me (Dynamo Gymnastics) and and he so so incredibly rude towards me. Long story, but it left a bad impression.


  1. I attended a USAIGC clinic with Steve Nunno as the keynote speaker in 1998 in Atlantic City, NJ. He must have repeated the phrase “My record speaks for itself” at least 10 times during his talk, all in an effort to validate his coaching techniques. Ever since, anytime someone in my family wants to pass off something questionable we repeat the very same Steve Nunno phrase, “my record speaks for itself”.

    Last I heard, he was coaching at a Y in Florida. His record speaks for itself.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh, I remember being a twelve year old girl in 1996 and hearing Steve Nunno tell Shannon, “Don’t Cry! There are people everywhere!” during the 1996 All Around. I still can’t believe that. What a thing to say!


  3. “What a thing to say!” What did you expect from a professional gymnastics coach, a lot of mollycoddling? I would have said the same thing. Save the tears for after the meet. That’s part of building mental strength. Some programs don’t follow that and it shows with their poor results.


    • There is a difference between saying, ‘Stop crying. You still have one more event, ” and “Stop crying. There are people everywhere.” The former shows professionalism, focus on the task at hand, and even, I would argue, a concern for the athlete. The latter shows vanity, self absorption, and dramatics.


      • Nunno actually did say later in the broadcast that she had more to do so cut with the tears. And what he meant (and he said this as well) when he said there are people everywhere is that everyone, literally everyone, in that stadium was watching her and only her (well, Dominique too). They had come to see Shannon and now she’s crying too hard to even complete her other events. Again, I am baffled that people are shocked when a coach says to suck it up. That’s part of coaching. All coaches say the same things. People are too sensitive. It’s not cruel or self-absorbed. Think of how embarrassing for Shannon it must have been to break down in front of all those people.


      • I never said that I had a problem with him telling her to stop crying. I thought I made that clear in my previous post. I have a problem with the reason he tells her to stop crying. Go back and reread my reply.


  4. His record speaks for itself? What record? How many notable gymnasts has he produced since Shannon’s peak in 1996? I’ll answer: ZERO. Shannon was a driven and talented athlete who would have succeeded regardless of who coached her. He simply got lucky. Frankly, he always gave me the creeps. Shannon, in particular, was literally subjugated to the man. Go back and rewatch the interview of he and Shannon at the airport during the 1994 Worlds. It was incredibly disturbing.


  5. Last photo :
    Ok listen girl, I want you to concentrate now. So stop thinking about my moustache, I know it’s ridiculous, but remember you were laughing so much yesterday that you fell off the beam. I wear a moustache since the age of 12, get used to it.
    And please tell your dad to stop calling me “detective Nuno”. Yes I know he does…


  6. I’m sorry but Shannon Miller could have been coached by a monkey and she still would’ve been a champion. It had nothing to do with Nuno. How many other successful gymnasts has he had? Exactly.


  7. Pingback: 148: Shannon Miller | GymCastic

  8. Pingback: 225: 1992 Olympics Recap with Wendy Bruce (Commissioned) | GymCastic

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