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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Decorated Gymnasts Named Assistant Coaches

Release: 07/25/2011
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AMES, Iowa - Iowa State gymnastics coach Jay Ronayne announced the hiring of Kristen Maloney and Katie Minasola, a pair that will bring a wealth of experience to the Cyclones.

Maloney, a former NCAA national champion at UCLA and a member of the 2000 USA bronze-medal winning Olympic squad in Sydney, Australia, comes to Iowa State after a year as an assistant coach at New Hampshire.  Minasola joins the Cyclones after seven years as an assistant at Michigan State and a decorated career as a gymnast. Minasola helped lead Michigan State to the best finish in school history at the NCAA Regionals.

""They both bring a wealth of experiences with them to Iowa State," Ronayne said. "As athletes, they were both very, very successful at the International Elite level and in the NCAA, which will instantly bring them credibility with the team. As coaches, they bring a youthful enthusiasm and positive energy to the gym.  I feel their personalities are the perfect fit for the Cyclones and their influence will be felt immediately."

Maloney won a pair of individual NCAA national titles (vault and beam) and three team titles during her time at UCLA.  She racked up nine All-America honors and was the 2005 Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional Gymnast of the Year.  The Pen Argyl, Pa., native was the first Bruin to register a perfect 10.0 on all four events during collegiate career.  Prior to arriving at UCLA, Maloney was a member of the United States national team from 1994-2000.  From 1998-2000 Maloney won four national championships (all-around, all-around, vault and floor), and was tabbed the 1998 USA Gymnastics Sportswoman of the Year. She would later win the gold medal on beam at the 1998 Goodwill Games.

""Although Kristin has only coached one year in the NCAA, she has an amazing resume," Ronayne said.  "Sharing what she has learned through her experiences with the U.S. Olympic Team, club coaching and being an NCAA champion on the UCLA team will help us be a better team.  Her recruiting contacts also make her an extremely valuable addition to our staff."

Minasola was an assistant coach and led the recruiting efforts for Michigan State. Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Minasola had a stellar competitive career that included tying the University of Massachusetts school records on bars (9.950) and beam (9.925) in her freshman campaign.  She would later go on to set the UMass record on bars (9.975) and win the Atlantic 10 Conference bars crown. Prior to her senior season, Minasola transferred to Central Michigan where she set the program mark on bars, going a perfect 10.0 on the apparatus on pair of occasions.  Minasola won a regional crown on bars during her senior campaign to qualify for the NCAA national championships.

""I have watched Katie grow as a coach over the past six or seven years and I can't wait for her to start working with my team," Ronayne said. "She is a very knowledgeable coach who also has the rare ability to connect with a student-athlete on many levels.  She has a very positive coaching style which falls right in line with the way we operate in our gym."

Before her collegiate career, Minasola was a top junior gymnast.  She won the balance beam national title at the 1993 Junior Olympic national championships as well as the all-around crown. She would later win the all-around crowns at both the U.S. Classic and American Classic/World Championship trials in the junior division. In 1995, Minasola was a member of the gold-medaling winning U.S. team at the Pan American Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina. In 1996, Minasola placed eighth in the all-around at the U.S. Olympic Trials which afforded her the opportunity to be an alternate for the 1996 U.S. Olympic team in Atlanta, Ga.

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