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Jen Llewellyn hired as Washington gymnastics head coach

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Jen Llewellyn hired as Washington gymnastics head coach

Washington huddles together as a team during their meet versus Oregon State at Alaska Airlines Arena on Feb. 8, 2021.

Seven months after Ralph Rasso was promoted to interim head coach in the wake of former head coach Elise Ray-Statz’s resignation, the Washington athletic department announced Monday that Jen Llewellyn has been hired to lead the gymnastics program.

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Jen and her family to the UW,” Washington athletic director Jennifer Cohen said. “It was evident that she has a passion, commitment and vision for developing young women, both in and out of competition, and the tremendous success she has experienced exemplifies this on every level.”

Llewellyn joins the team after nine seasons as head coach at Lindenwood University in Missouri. The Lions had plenty of success under Llewellyn, racking up 78 All-Conference honors and six Midwest Independent Conference Championships since 2013. 

Most notably, Llewellyn was named USA Gymnastics Head Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2016.

She inherits a young Huskies squad that had a rough 2021 season, but showed signs of improvement throughout the year, especially from its youth.

Skylar Killough-Wilhelm became the first Washington freshman to compete in the all-around since 2014, Amara Cunningham continued to excel in both the floor routine and on vault, and a number of freshmen emerged as important pieces on bars and on the balance beam.

“The future is bright for the UW Gymnastics program and I am honored to help guide and lead an incredible group of young women, now and into the future,” Llewellyn said.

Llewellyn returns to the Pac-12 nearly a decade after her time as a gymnast at Oregon State, where she finished second in the nation on bars as a senior and ended her collegiate career with three All-American honors. 

She was raised across Lake Washington in Kenmore and attended Inglemoor High School, competing with Gymnastics East Club in Seattle.

Reach Co-Editors Sydney Nash and Anthony Edwards at Twitter: @sydneym_nash and @edwardsanthonyb

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