In her first season as head coach of Washington Gymnastics, Elise Ray-Statz took the GymDawgs to NCAA Nationals for the first time since 1998. Ray-Statz, who was named Pac-12 Gymnastics Coach of the Year in 2017, coached Washington to an eighth-place overall finish at the NCAA Championships, the program’s second-highest finish ever. The second-place finish at the Regional Championships in 2017 was also the highest finish by the Huskies since 1998. In addition to her Coach of the Year award, Ray helped Joslyn Goings, Hailey Burleson, Kaitlyn Duranczyk, and Alexandra Yacalis all make the All-Pac-12 team. The Huskies also had five All-Academic performers in 2017 under Ray-Statz’s watch as Burleson, Yacalis, Duranczyk, Malory Rose, and Monica Riley were all honored.
Ray-Statz was named the head coach of the GymDawgs program, Washington Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen announced prior to th 2016-17 season. Ray took over the role held by Joanne Bowers for the last 10 years after Bowers stepped down to be closer to family.
“I am beyond thrilled for the opportunity to be the next head coach of the Washington Gymnastics program,” said Ray-Statz. “I have loved Washington from the day I first interviewed for the assistant job five years ago. There is something extremely special about the people and culture here on Montlake. I’m incredibly grateful to Stephanie Rempe and Jen Cohen who have such belief in me and the program. Joanne gave her all to Washington Gymnastics, every single day, and I can only hope to match her passion. From coach, to boss and mentor, to friend, I’m indebted to her kindness and mentorship. This is truly an honor and I cannot wait to get started.’ Continued…..
In his first year with the Huskies, Wiest helped Washington reach the NCAA Championships, where they finished eighth. That was the second-highest finish ever by the Huskies as the NCAAs and highest since 1998. The second-place finish at the Regional Championships in 2017 was also the highest finish by the Huskies since 1998. Wiest also helped four Huskies make the All-Pac-12 team, with Joslyn Goings making the First Team and Hailey Burleson, Kaitlyn Duranczyk, and Alexandra Yacalis making the Second Team.
Wiest joined the Huskies following three years as an assistant at the University of Illinois where he was focused on coaching the vault and floor lineups. Most recently, Wiest helped freshman Lizzy LeDuc advance to the NCAA Championships after she claimed the floor title at the Salt Lake City Regional with her career-high score of 9.950, which also ranked third in Illinois history. During his time at Illinois, he helped coach vault and floor lineups that ranked in the top 30 nationally along with posting some of the best marks in program history. The Illini’s 49.400 performance at the 2015 Big Ten Championships was the second-best vault score at Illinois.
“I want to thank head coach Elise Ray, Senior Associate Athletic Director, Stephanie Rempe, and Athletic Director, Jennifer Cohen, for the opportunity to join the University of Washington staff,” said Wiest. “I am beyond grateful and ecstatic to be entering this program at such an exciting time. As a new era of the program begins, I have full confidence in Elise as a leader and the coaching staff’s abilities to take this team to the next level.” Continued…..
Ralph Rosso joined the Washington gymnastics coaching staff in June of 2017. He comes to the UW from George Washington University, where he was an assistant last season. He returns to the Pac-12 Conference, having spent the previous two seasons at Arizona State, as an assistant coach and interim head coach.
In 2017 at GW, Rosso helped the Colonials to the East Atlantic Gymnastics League championship and a berth in the NCAA Regionals, where a GW gymnast won the program’s first-ever NCAA Regional individual title, on the vault. Two individuals earned individual berths to nationals, the most ever at GW. A total of eight gymnasts earned All-EAGL honors.
At Arizona State, Rosso aided in the development of nine Academic All-Pac-12 gymnasts, three All-Pac-12 selections and five NCAA qualifiers, including an individual regional champion. Continued…..