The Bama Bounders competitive gymnastics team was started in 1979 with four gymnasts who were traveling to Birmingham for instruction. For the first several years, practice was held in the third floor gym of Moore Hall on campus. In 1983, the University purchased the Ft. Brandon Armory. In the fall of that year, the Athletic Department, the Physical Education Department and the Bama Bounders all consolidated their resources and moved into the Armory.
The Bama Bounders quickly became the premier program in Alabama. They have produced State Champions, Southeast Regional Champions, Elite gymnasts and National Champions. The coaching staff is committed to maintaining this excellence while providing a fun, positive learning experience for all team members.
Erin Holdefer-Kightlinger was a competitive USAG gymnast for 11 years, the last 7 with the Bama Bounders. Then she competed for the University of Alabama for 2 years, while winning the National Championship in 2002. That same year, she retired from college gymnastics and started working for Bama Bounders as an assistant team coach. In 2004 she was named the Interim Head Coach. After coaching Ashley to Level 9 Eastern Nationals in Virginia Beach, VA, she was officially named Head Coach.
In 2010, the Bama Bounders came under new ownership. Erin Holdefer-Kightlinger and Eric Kightlinger bought the program from David and Sarah Patterson. Erin Holdefer-Kightlinger, Owner and Head Coach, was part of the University of Alabama's 2002 National Championship team. She was the lead-off vaulter her entire career for Alabama. Along with being a National Champion, she was a two time Academic All-SEC Team member and Scholastic All-American.