New assistant coaches bring experience to team

Isaac Hunt

New ISU coaches Katie Minasola and

Kristen Maloney, along with volunteer coach Danielle Guider, have

big plans for the ISU gymnastics team.

After Minasola spent seven years as

an assistant coach at Michigan State, Jay Ronayne is glad to have

her on his coaching staff.

“I was watching Katie for years,”

Ronayne said. “I was aware of her as an athlete. So she’s been in

my consciousness since [she was in college]. I knew she could help

our team immediately.”

Minasola helped lead the Michigan

State Spartans to six straight NCAA Regional appearances, but she

was ready to move forward and gain experience elsewhere.

“At first I didn’t want to be a head

coach. Over my period [at Michigan State] I realized that I do,”

Minasola said. “I needed to move on to another university to learn

from other coaches and see what other institutions do.”

Her first year at Iowa State is just

a stepping stone for her goals in the future. 

“I want to go to nationals as a

team, get to the Super Six, and become part of a team that is on

the national level on a regular basis,” Minasola said. “What don’t

I want to do as a coach?”

After only coaching for one season,

Maloney is another coach Ronayne graciously brought


“She knows what it’s all about,”

Ronayne said. “She came from a program at UCLA that has a long

history and tradition of success. To bring that experience to us,

so we can learn from that? That was a no brainer.” 

NCAA champion, Olympic bronze

medalist and Cirque du Soleil performer are a few bullet points on

her resume that Maloney brings to Iowa State. 

Maloney said she has a lot to learn

about the coaching aspect of the sport after being coached for most

of her life. 

“I’ve been looking to make coaching

in college gymnastics my career,” Maloney said. “I started at UNH

[University of New Hampshire]. I thought this was a good step. A

bigger program and better resources.”

Guider is looking to get her foot in

the door at Iowa State as well. 

“Everyone has to pay their dues,”

Ronayne said. “She wants to coach really bad. She’s doing a great

job. We’re very fortunate to have her here.”

The 2011 Missouri graduate is ready

to take on the responsibilities of coaching and also currently

leads the Cardinal Gymnastics Academy in Ames. 

“I knew this summer that I wanted to

go into coaching,” Guider said. “[Iowa State] was my best

opportunity to get my foot in the door.”

With the additions Ronayne made in

the offseason, he said he and his team are trying to get to the

NCAA Championship this year and prove to others and themselves that

they are a force in college gymnastics.