Gymnastics News Network
By: Eileen Patchey
Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour has announced that Sarah Brown will be the new head coach of the women’s gymnastics program. Brown will be the eight head coach in the history of the program. Brown comes to Penn State after serving as the head coach at Eastern Michigan University for one season, following the departure of former head coach Jay Santos. During that season, Brown led the Eagles to the Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular season title, the MAC Championship, an appearance at the NCAA Regionals and a final national ranking of No. 27. At the 2017 MAC Gymnastics Championships, Eastern Michigan tallied its second-best score in program history (196.500), recorded a school record on the uneven bars (49.300), and three gymnasts tied for the uneven bars title.
During the 2016-17 season, a total of 10 Eastern Michigan gymnasts were named Academic All-MAC and five were selected MAC Distinguished Scholars. Four of the Eagles’ MAC Distinguished scholars owned a grade-point average of 3.85 or higher. During the 2016 fall semester, Brown’s squad earned a combined 3.49 grade-point average and a 3.69 GPA in the spring of 2017.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the support I’ve received from Eastern Michigan Athletics and I wish everyone at EMU and in the community the very best moving forward,” Brown said.
Before taking the helm at Eastern Michigan, Brown served for one season as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Michigan during the 2015-16 school year, helping the Wolverines win the 2016 Big Ten Championship. She assisted on all four events and helped with development of daily practice plans. Her role with the Wolverines also included assisting with community service, recruiting and team travel.
Prior to joining the Michigan coaching staff, Brown was an assistant women’s gymnastics coach at Southeast Missouri State University for three seasons, where she was selected the Midwest Independent Conference Assistant Coach of the Year in 2014.
“I’m honored and thrilled to be a part of Penn State Athletics!” Brown said. “Sandy and her staff have been incredible throughout this process and I can’t thank them enough for making State College feel like home! This University has so much passion and pride and I’m looking forward to guiding the gymnastics team to the top of the Big Ten Conference and onto the national stage.
“We are ecstatic to have Sarah Brown joining the Penn State family as the leader of our women’s gymnastics program,” said Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. “Sarah is a rapidly rising star in the coaching ranks. She has been involved with some of the nation’s premier women’s gymnastics programs as a student-athlete, coach and administrator. Sarah led Eastern Michigan to the MAC Championship this past season, guiding her team to its second-highest score in program history. We are excited about the passion, experience and leadership she will bring in engaging with recruits and our women’s gymnastics alumni and help elevate the program within the conference and nationally.”
Brown added. “I can’t wait to get started at Penn State and I look forward to meeting the gymnasts and the journey and process ahead…We Are!!” The Nittany Lions will return 12 members from the 2017 team, along with four incoming freshmen in 2018.
Source: Penn State Athletics
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