Catelyn Orel Branson cheers

Coaches on the Hot Seat—or Due for a Promotion—After the 2024 Season

And we’re off! The coaching carousel is spinning yet again. This year should be slightly calmer than last, since most teams have added a fourth coach. Still, there is plenty of intrigue already. We rounded up open positions (as of publishing), those that may be opening up, coaches due for a promotion, and those on the hot seat after the 2024 season.

Open Jobs

Georgia Head Coach

The big kahuna. One of the most coveted and feared jobs in collegiate gymnastics. It’s open again. Georgia’s relatively new AD Josh Brooks wasted no time in dismissing Courtney Kupets-Carter, announcing her departure the day after Lily Smith closed the Gymdogs’ season as an individual in the national semifinals. This is perhaps the most pressure-filled job in the sport: Georgia has churned through three coaches since Suzanne Yoculan Leeburn’s retirement in 2009, showing no tolerance for anything but another national title. The available coaching pool is thin at this juncture; who will get the nod? Rumors abound about coaches Georgia is targeting, but no one has signed on the dotted line yet.

Eastern Michigan Assistant Coach

The Eagles never added a fourth paid position last year after the NCAA rule change but currently have a position listed. Katie Minasola’s staff is a great place for up-and-coming coaches to dip a toe into the DI waters, so look for someone young or making the jump from club coaching to slot in here.

North Carolina Assistant Coach

Mackenzie Caquatto-Jaworski gave birth at the beginning of the season and has quietly disappeared from the sidelines at meets since. Greg Marsden is reporting that her position is now open at UNC.

Fisk Assistant Coach

Lost in the shuffle during the UGA/LSU bidding war was India Anderson’s announcement that she and Fisk had “parted ways.” The staff now has two open positions to fill.

Wilberforce Head Coach

Set to debut in the 2026 season, the latest HBCU to add gymnastics will likely be looking to add a head coach this year to begin recruitment efforts. Given the hirings at Fisk and Talladega, we can anticipate a highly successful Black former gymnast taking the reins.

Possible Openings 

Utah Assistant Coach

There’s no posting for the Utes yet, but when Carly Dockendorf was promoted to head coach, no new assistant was hired to fill the vacancy her elevation created. Now that she’s going to be at the helm for a full preseason, it makes sense that she’ll make her own hire and Utah will operate with the four allowed coaches moving forward. 

Iowa Head Coach

Larissa Libby was placed on leave at the close of the regular season after a visibly frustrated Hawkeye squad struggled at the Big Ten championship and ultimately finished on the wrong side of the regionals bubble. Her status remains unclear, but it’s certainly possible that this job will open up once the university concludes its investigation.

Greenville Head Coach

Charter head coach Bill Hopkins has not been seen with the team since 2023 and is no longer listed on the team’s coaches page. It’s presumed (though unconfirmed) that the men’s team head coach Zach Peters has been pulling double duty. Whether or not this is a permanent solution remains to be seen, but it certainly seems unsustainable. 

Due for a Promotion

Catelyn (Orel) Branson and Sam Scherwinski, Lindenwood

With the unfortunate cutting of the Lions’ program coming after it won both the MIC and USAG titles, its staff is looking good to make jumps to other programs. Sienna Crouse may be done coaching, but perhaps a Georgia assistant position is in someone’s else’s future?

Scott Wilson, Ball State

Ball State has been breaking records left and right, and bars coach and recruiter Wilson is undoubtedly a big part of that success. He’d be a smart target for programs looking for that skillset. 

Ryan Roberts, Georgia

Roberts is a top-tier recruiter—he brought Lily Smith to Athens—and sound technical coach with a lot of passion. He’s a strong candidate to move into another prominent assistant role.

On the Hot Seat

Jimmy Pratt, Utah

Given that Utah’s fourth consecutive third-place finish came down, at least in part, to the vault lineup yet again, it’s reasonable to assume that Dockendorf might reconsider primary vault coach Pratt’s place on her staff. When Tom Farden was fired and she stepped up, no other coaching changes took place. It’s standard practice for a new head coach to bring in their own assistants, so it wouldn’t be out of line for Dockendorf to clean house anyway.

Danna Durante, North Carolina

How long is too long to wait for things to click for the Tar Heels? The recruiting is excellent, but the roster never seems to live up to its talent. North Carolina fell behind the pack in the move to the ACC this year, and it’s increasingly feeling like Durante is on thinning ice.

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Article by Emily Minehart, Claire Billman, and Rebecca Scally

One comment

  1. A friend pointed out that Gina Quinlan is no longer listed as a coach on the website. Do you have any information as to why that is, and who do you think will be a candidate to replace her?

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