Gymnastics News Network
By: Eileen Patchey
Nadalie Walsh has been named as the head coach of the Fighting Illini women’s gymnastics program, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Walsh moves to Champaign-Urbana after four years at the helm of Utah State, where she guided the Aggies to four-consecutive NCAA Regional appearances.
“We are pleased to welcome Nadalie Walsh to the Fighting Illini family,” Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman said. “Her record of success at Utah State, including four NCAA Regional appearances in four seasons, and her history of developing strong programs at Ball State and Wisconsin-Oshkosh were what attracted us to her initially. After getting to know her better throughout the search process, however, it is her competitive drive, personal humility, and student-centered approach that will make her a great fit at the University of Illinois. I have great confidence that our women’s gymnastics program will compete annually for Big Ten championships and will become a prominent player on the national stage, while spring-boarding our student-athletes to great things in their personal and professional lives. We are grateful to Nadalie, her husband, Victor, and their three children, Aiden, Ireland, and Valient, for joining the Illini Nation!”
In addition to her coaching stop at Utah State, Walsh also led programs at Ball State and Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
“I am truly honored to be selected as the new head coach for the Fighting Illini women’s gymnastics program,” Walsh said. “I cannot thank Director of Athletics Josh Whitman and Senior Associate AD/SWA Maria Ochoa Woods enough for entrusting me with the incredible opportunity and responsibility of leading this prestigious program. I am beyond excited to begin the journey of returning home to the Midwest, so I can start the process of pouring into the student athletes. It is my vision that together we can build a passionate culture which will create momentum and inspire the alumni, recruits and community around us. I am grateful to each of my previous institutions who have equipped me with the experience needed to confidently lead the Fighting Illini gymnastics program.”
Prior to Utah State, Walsh spent six seasons as the head coach at Ball State, where she coached six different gymnasts to the NCAA Regional Championships for a total of 10 appearances, as well as four Mid-American Conference individual event champions. She also coached one MAC Senior Athlete of the Year as part of eight All-Mid-American Conference gymnasts during her tenure at Ball State.
Before taking the position at Ball State, Walsh spent four years (2004-07) as the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, her alma mater. In 2007, her final season at UW-Oshkosh, Walsh guided the Titans to the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championship. The NCGA is the governing body for college gymnastics for NCAA Division III Schools. It was UW-Oshkosh’s second national title in the program’s history and the first since 1989. The title win by the Walsh-led Titans in 2007 halted a six-year reign by UW-La Crosse.
Walsh was named the NCGA Coach of the Year in 2006 and also earned Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Coach of the Year accolades in 2005 and 2006, as well as Division III West Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Before becoming UW-Oshkosh’s head coach, Walsh was an assistant coach for the Titans from 2001-03, helping the Titans to a second-place finish at nationals in 2001.
A native of Kewaskum, Wis., Walsh earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and fitness from UW-Oshkosh in 2000. She and her husband, Victor, have three children Aiden, Ireland and Valient.
Source: Illinois Athletics
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