EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Director of Athletics Dan Schumacher announced today that gymnastics Head Coach Jean DeLisle will retire at the conclusion of the 2018 season after 15 years of leading the Blugolds.
"Blugold Athletics appreciates the many contributions Coach DeLisle has made to the gymnastics program, both regionally and nationally," said Schumacher. "Her leadership and dedication built a strong, positive culture and has made a significant impact on the program. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. She will be missed."
Hired by interim athletic director Tim Petermann prior to the 2003-2004 season, DeLisle became the sixth head coach in program history. DeLisle has the second longest tenure for the program, only program founder Mary Mero has coached more seasons (21) after the program began in 1969-70. In addition, DeLisle also coached at UW-River Falls for 10 years prior to coaching at UW-Eau Claire.
"I want to thank Tim Petermann for first giving me the opportunity to lead this team all these years," said DeLisle. "I also am very grateful to Mary Mero for all she has done for Blugold gymnastics. She has been a constant support for the team, coaching staff and the program as a whole."
"Our administrative staff has also been amazing. [Program Assistant] Nancy Hendricks has always been there to take care of logistics and her attention to detail is second to none," said DeLisle. "Additionally, [Associate Athletic Director] Robin Baker deserves a huge thank you for her support, both personally and professionally, over the years. Robin is truly one-of-a-kind and is someone I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with my entire career as a Blugold. I am so blessed to have someone who started as a colleague and is now a life-long friend. I also want to thank our current athletic director, Dan Schumacher, for his support and always letting me know that he was in my corner."
In her final season, DeLisle will look to add to the long list of top performances. In the previous 14 seasons, she has coached 24 NCGA All-Americans and 43 Academic All-Americans. She has also had three national champions (Lynn Morris – 2003 – Balance Beam, Theresa Lynch – 2006 Floor Exercise and Michaela McCamey-Metropulos – 2012 Balance Beam). Moreover, the top 10 team and event scores in program history have all been set under DeLisle's tenure, with four of the top 10 meet scores coming in the 2016-17 season alone.
"I am so thankful for the wonderful student-athletes I have gotten to coach and mentor over the years," said DeLisle. "It has been an honor to work with them and watch them grow as gymnasts and as people. The parents and families of these athletes have been amazing. I would also like to thank some of my awesome assistants such as Erin Holly, Danielle Schulzetenberg and Scott Gay, for creating such an amazing culture. I also really appreciate my coaching colleagues for their support and making me feel so welcome."
"The Eau Claire community has also been wonderful. It has been a pleasure working with such great people that have allowed us to share our sport with the youth through our Junior Blugold program. I am so thankful for my time here and will always be a Blugold."
"My biggest thank you goes out to my family, especially my children Jacques and Paris for always supporting me even when it meant that I wasn't always available for them. They have truly been my biggest supporters, and I am so proud to be their mom."
The Blugolds will open their 2017-18 campaign on Saturday as they travel to Saint Peter, Minn. for a meet against Gustavus Adolphus College. They will host their first meet of the season on Friday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. vs. UW-Whitewater.