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Women's gymnastics welcomes new assistant coach

Aidan Thompson

Assistant Sports Editor

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Rhode Island College named Jim Hayes assistant women's gymnastics coach on Tuesday. Before accepting this position by RIC, he was an assistant coach at Brown University for four years. During his tenure there, he earned the Assistant Coach of the year award for the 2016 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championship, coaching many incredible athletes. One of those athletes was Mei Li Costa. Costa, while on the team Hayes coached, both made it to Division I regionals and won bars in the United States Gymnastics National Championships.

Head Coach Monica Mesalles Nassi, welcomes Hayes into the ever growing family she hopes to create in women’s gymnastics, saying, “I’m thrilled to welcome Jim to the coaching staff. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will be a tremendous asset to our growing program!”

The Bears notched a 22-12-2 record, posting the most wins during head coach Sara Carver-Miline’s tenure. Six members of this team earned USAG All-America Accolades.

Hayes had an incredible first season with Brown, guiding them to a score of 195.175, a team record. This season also saw the Bears qualify for team finals at the USAG Collegiate National Championships. The achievement was Brown’s second time ever making it that far. That reason saw the team go 22-12-2, a record for Head Coach Sara Carver-Miline.

Throughout his career as an assistant coach and coach, Hayes worked with some of the best gymnasts and national champions. In his second season, he coached Caroline Morant, who that same year was awarded 2017’s ECAC Gymnast of the Year. She also earned a spot in regionals that year. A few years earlier, he was an assistant coach for Towson University. Under his tenure there, Avis Hixon earned a spot in the NCAA nationals. Before coaching for Towson, he also coached at URI for one season. Two players on his team that year, Kelly Gurney and Ananda Fraser, made it to the NCAA regionals.

He also had a short stint at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Two players on his team at the time, Julia Zimmerman and Sophia Harrison, won national championships in Division III.

Hayes is also excited to be part of the team at RIC.

He said, “I am very excited to coach at RIC this year. Coach Nassi has recruited some great student-athletes. They are working hard right now and we should have a banner season.”

Hayes is ready to work with the gymnasts and bring them to their full potential. The team is looking to bring home a banner this season.


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