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Women’s Gymnastics Team Hires New Coach

Following Steve Shephard’s sudden departure from the Penn State women’s gymnastics team, Athletic Director Tim Curley launched a national search for his successor. Today the Athletic Department announced that they have hired husband and wife duo Jeff and Rachelle Thompson as head and associate head coaches, respectively. Prior to joining the Nittany Lions, the Thompsons called Auburn University their home, running the women’s gymnastics program there. While at Auburn, Jeff Thompson was twice named SEC Coach of the Year, and led the Tigers to eight consecutive NCAA Regional Tournaments.

The Thompsons have big shoes to fill, during Shephard’s 18 years as head coach he sent the team to 8 NCAA Championship Tournaments and amassed a career record of 256-144-2.

The hiring of the Thompsons is the 4th head coaching hire that Curley and the Athletic Department have made this summer, and continues the trend of hiring big names in the field. It appears that Curley had decided to bolster our already strong non-revenue sports programs with his recent hires. I’ll leave it up to our commenters to make the obligatory “fire Ed DeChellis” remarks.

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About the Author

Chase Tralka

Chase Tralka is a Senior majoring in Information Sciences and Technology with a minor in Security and Risk Analysis. He is from Northern New Jersey and is involved in far too many organizations to list here. He enjoys photography, cycling, and listening to obscure free jazz music.


Other posts by Chase

Three Words: For the Glory

When I sat back one night in January thinking about my time at Penn State, I tried to come up with a single word that would adequately describe my experiences here. As I attempted to determine what that magic word might be, my mind began to grasp the absurdity of that challenge. How could I possibly distill four years of my life, countless friendships, and untold numbers of memories, down to a single word? An impossible task to be sure. So instead, I took the easier road and went with three words: For the Glory.

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