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Penn State Names Sarah Brown Women’s Gymnastics Head Coach

Penn State announced that it has hired Sarah Brown as the women’s gymnastics team’s eighth head coach in program history.

She takes over for Jeff Thompson, who was fired in February. Thompson co-coached the team with his wife Rachelle until she resigned back in May after the two were were accused of creating a hostile environment within the team and emotionally abusing their athletes.

Since the end of Thompson’s tenure, Kera Molinaro and Josh Nilson coached the team on an interim basis.

Brown, who won the Big 12 gymnast of the year twice during her college career, begins her tenure with Penn State after a successful season as head coach of the Eastern Michigan gymnastics team, where her team won the MAC Championship and made an appearance in NCAA regionals this past season.

“We are ecstatic to have Sarah Brown joining the Penn State family as the leader of our women’s gymnastics program,” Barbour told “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.

In addition to last season’s success with Eastern Michigan, Brown worked as an assistant coach for the University of Michigan in 2015-16, helping the Wolverines win the Big Ten title. She also spent three years as an assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State University, winning 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.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

Mikey is a junior majoring in journalism and Onward State's Sports Editor. He grew up in Bedminster, NJ and is way too obnoxious about all the best things his home state has to offer. He likes to play golf, but he isn't very good at it because golf is hard. If you're dying to see more hockey/golf content on your timeline, you can follow Mikey on Twitter @mikey_mandarino. Send all hate mail/death threats to [email protected]


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