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Iowa Hawkeyes choose Jen Llewellyn as new head gymnastics coach

At Washington, Llewellyn led the Huskies to three-straight NCAA second round regional appearances.

IOWA CITY – Jen Llewellyn has been selected as the next head coach of the University of Iowa gymnastics program, Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics, Beth Goetz announced Thursday. Llewellyn comes to the Hawkeyes after three years as head coach at the University of Washington. She will be the fifth coach in program history.

“I am thrilled and beyond grateful to be joining the Hawkeye community,” said Llewellyn. “I want to thank Beth, Marcus and the entire Iowa athletics staff for this tremendous opportunity. The tradition at Iowa is evident and I am excited to build off the strong foundation that has been laid by the past and present women who have built it. It is the best time in history to be a woman in sport and to see the commitment to women’s sports at Iowa is extremely inspiring. There are many opportunities in front of us and I am eager to be a part of the journey that is Iowa gymnastics. GO HAWKS!!”

At Washington, Llewellyn led the Huskies to three-straight NCAA second round regional appearances, including a sweet 16 appearance in 2023. In 2024, the GymDawgs recorded two team scores above a 197, the second time the squad has notched two 197+ scores in Llewellyn’s tenure at Washington. Llewellyn had student-athletes named NCAA Regional floor co-champions at the Cal Regional. She had one student-athlete qualify for NCAA National Championships in the all-around where she was a two-time All-American on bars and the all-around.

“We are truly excited to welcome Jen to the Hawkeye Family,” said Goetz. “She has a history of championship level success with a wealth of experience including 12 years as a head coach. In addition to her competitive success, she is known for her ability to create an incredible team environment where student-athletes succeed in all phases of their collegiate experience.”
Prior to Washington, Llewelyn was at Lindenwood University since the start of the program in 2012. She served as the interim head coach for the inaugural season and was named the head coach in 2013. Llewellyn led the Lions to six straight conference championships and three USAG National Championships. She was named Midwest Independent Conference (MIC) Head Coach of the Year in 2015, 2016, and 2018. Llewellyn was named the USA Gymnastics Head Coach of the Year in 2015 and 2016. She helped the Lions earn three different Gymnast of the Year awards from the MIC including the 2015 Gymnast of the Year, the 2015 Newcomer of the Year, and the 2018 Senior Athlete of the Year.

Llewellyn coached the Lions to their first-ever NCAA Regionals appearance after Lindenwood finished 2019 by winning the MIC championship and was selected to the Baton Rouge Regional as the third-ever Division II program to qualify for NCAA Regionals. The Lions had eight different individuals qualify for Regionals in Llewellyn’s time as head coach, including three in 2021
The Lions posted six-straight MIC championships under Llewellyn’s leadership. Over her nine seasons, Lindenwood earned 78 all-conference honors, including 18 in 2021. The Lions also earned four WCGA All-American honors in 2021, giving the Lions 64 All-Americans during Llewellyn’s tenure. Llewellyn was named Division II Regional Coach of the Year in 2019 and 2021.

In the classroom, the Lions achieved the highest GPA in program history in 2021, posting a 3.84 to top the previous record of 3.82 from 2020. Her student-athletes earned numerous MIC Scholar-Athlete and USA Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete honors, and in 2017 two members of the program became the first Academic All-Americans in team history

A native of Kenmore, Washington, Llewellyn was a three-time all-American and a national runner-up on bars at Oregon State. She would also win a Pac-12 championship in 2009 on bars and an NCAA Regionals championship in 2008 on bars.

Llewellyn earned her bachelor’s degree in merchandise management in 2012 from Oregon State and her master’s in communication from Lindenwood in 2014. She and her husband, Cody, have two children, William Grayson and Blakely.

What they’re saying about Jen Llewellyn:

Jen Cohen, USC Athletic Director, former Washington Athletics Director
“Jen Llewellyn is an exceptional coach, leader and person. She brings to Iowa Gymnastics a wealth of experience, a championship mindset and will build a culture where the young women in her program will thrive both in and out of competition. This is a great hire by Iowa.”
Jay Clark, Head Coach, Louisiana State University

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jen since she was an athlete that I recruited. She was a tenacious competitor then, and I’ve watched from afar as she has grown into the complete coach she is today. She understands the importance of standards, values and todays need for a true culture of buy in from every role being played on her team. I’m excited to see her take this next challenge and move the needle the way she has everywhere she has been. Iowa is fortunate to have such a coach full of integrity and ambition to succeed.”
K.J. Kindler, Head Coach, University of Oklahoma

“In Jen’s young career she has accomplished what many thought might be unreachable including growing the Lindenwood program from inception to a birth in the NCAA post season and nurturing the Washington Huskies to compete in the final sixteen. Her professional endeavors are always preceded by her devotion to personal relationships with her student- athletes. She will undoubtedly provide the leadership and vision to propel the Hawkeyes into the next phase.”
Tanya Chaplin, Head Coach, Oregon State

“Jen is an exceptional coach, mentor, and teacher, dedicated to developing and empowering her athletes at every stage of their journey. Her enthusiasm and passion for the sport are contagious. It has been exciting to watch her succeed at every step of her journey, from a student-athlete to a championship coach. I am excited to watch her thrive at Iowa.”

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