DeZiel to lead UW-Eau Claire Women’s Gymnastics

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 3:12 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. ( - University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Athletics Director Dan Schumacher has announced the hiring of Jessie DeZiel as the new head women’s gymnastics coach.

“We are excited to have Jessie join the Blugold family,” said Schumacher. “Over the course of her career as a student-athlete, National Team Member, and as an assistant coach, Jessie had proven that she’s a winner who does things the right way.”

DeZiel steps into the lead role of Blugold women’s gymnastics after serving as a volunteer assistant at her alma mater, Nebraska University.

“I am honored to join UW-Eau Claire gymnastics as the new head coach,” said DeZiel. “The campus here is beautiful and has so much to offer to our student-athletes. I am excited to get to know each one of the athletes and can’t wait to get to work. My athletes will be held to a high standard both in the classroom and in the gym. We also will strive to have an impact in the community and give back as a unified team. I want to thank Chancellor Schmidt, Dan Schumacher, Robin Baker, and the rest of the staff at UW-Eau Claire for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. I am excited for the future of the gymnastics program. Go Blugolds!”

As a collegiate athlete, DeZiel was a top performer for the University of Nebraska. In her fours years as a Husker, DeZiel captured 61 individual event victories, was named a nine-time All-American, set program records as a freshman and sophomore, was a two-time Big Ten Champion, and was named 2015 Nebraska Female Athlete Student-Athlete of the Year.

DeZiel currently works with Team USA Gymnastics on the Athletes’ Council/Selection Committee, where she began in February of 2020. With the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, DeZiel helped select the team that captured two individual gold medalists and a team overall silver medal.

DeZiel is no stranger to the Olympic stage, after winning a gold medal in the 2011 Pan America Games. Her artistic team all-around totaled 219.750 points and earned gold at an event where Team USA captured 18 total medals (nine gold, five silver, and four bronze) during the games.

In her homecoming to Nebraska in 2019, the Huskers finished 3rd in the Big 10 Conference Championships and ranked 14th in the Division I poll. The Huskers team held a dual record of 8-4 in the regular season and had one athlete earn Second All-American Status.

Before her return to Lincoln, DeZiel was an assistant coach at the University of Illinois where the Fighting Iliini finished third in the Big 10 and 19th in the Division I poll. From 2016-2018, she held her first assistant coaching job at Ball State University.

What They’re Saying About Jessie DeZiel

Dan Kendig, former Nebraska head coach

“As Jessie DeZiel’s coach at the University of Nebraska, I am thrilled that she is the new women’s gymnastics head coach at UW-Eau Claire.  Jessie’s, passion, work ethic and love for gymnastics will make her a successful collegiate coach.  Her ability to gain the trust of her athletes will be instrumental in building team chemistry and a positive culture on the team. At the University of Nebraska, Jessie was one of the most durable and consistent performers in school history.  Jessie was one of our top all-arounders and only missed one routine in her entire career.  She was a team player and always put the team above herself.  Her grit and determination were huge factors that led to her success at Nebraska.  Jessie has always been committed to excellence, and I’m excited to see the results of that commitment at UWEC.”

Dr. Larry Widman, high performance psychiatrist and elite mindset coach

“I couldn’t be more excited for Jessie to return to her roots-doing what she loves most-coaching gymnastics! During my career there have been three athletes who stand out, in my mind, at mastering their composure. Jessie was one of those three athletes. She was a nine-time All American at the University of Nebraska. Gymnastics is a sport of failure, especially when you include the balance beam that is only four inches wide and 4 feet high! Jessie was a four-year starter and usually competed in the all-around competition. During her four years of competition, she hit 206 out of 207 routines, the best I have ever seen by far by a college gymnast. It did not matter if she was tired or sore or if she’d had a poor warm-up; when the lights came on, she always looked and acted composed – and mastered the physical, mental, and emotional demands of her sport when it mattered the most. I can’t wait for her to train this type of mindset with Blugold athletes every day in her gym.”

Tom Forster, USA Gymnastics, Women’s High-Performance Director

“With the 2020 Olympic Games being postponed due to a global pandemic, Jessie could not have picked a more challenging time to volunteer. She has served remarkably and under very difficult circumstances. I truly believe Jessie’s contribution as the Women’s Athlete Representative for USA Gymnastics has been one of the essential reasons, we have successfully improved the culture of the women’s national team. With Jessie having a key role in an NCAA program, I know she will use it to expand her positive influence within the entire gymnastics community, UWEC, the NCAA and Team USA.”

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