Clemson adds Gymnastics Team for 2023-2024, ACC reinstates gymnastics conference

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With the addition of gymnastics at Clemson, the ACC will once again have a conference and hold championships.
There currently are three ACC institutions that sponsor women’s gymnastics (North Carolina, NC State and Pitt), all of which currently compete in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League. With the addition of Clemson, the ACC will have four programs, the necessary number in the league’s sports operation code to host a conference championship. The ACC previously sponsored a conference championship in women’s gymnastics in 1984.
EAGL will lose Pitt, North Carolina, and North Carolina State.
That will leave the EAGL with just Temple, Towson, Long Island, and George Washington.
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Interesting! I moved back to the west coast from the Pittsburgh, PA area, and went to a lot of their meets over 9 years (including some away). I also lived about 50 mi from Clemson at one point.

EAGL was always fun, but ACC would certainly be good prestigewise. I’ll be curious to see how this goes.

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So it is being heavily rumored that the short list for Clemson head coach has Kyla Ross at the very top of their list.

We shall see what happens May 2022 when the head coach is named.

Ross seems like a perfect pick for the position as World and Olympic champion she has the star name. Plus she was an absolute star at the NCAA level. Also, Ross’ long term boyfriend Justin is the son of the Clemson baseball head coach.
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Here is a write up from College Gym Fans that lists 7 possible coaches for Clemson.

The Griffiths are at the top of the list, no surprise, along with Ashley Johnston and Kyla Ross.

Kyla Ross is likely still the top pick, but she has very little coaching experience. Volunteer Coach for UCLA and Arkansas for one year each.

The Griffiths make sense because they get two coaches off the bat and we know Garrett is a strong VT coach and Courtney is great with floor and some beam. So they would hire someone for bars. However, I don’t know that they would head to South Carolina as they seem to have their home in the SEC and either poised to take over after Jay Clark at LSU or potentially head back to their alma matter at Georgia. With Kupets potentially on the chop block, The Griffiths taking over at Georgia is what I would want.

Ashley Johnston would be an excellent head coach and has the experience. But again I wonder if she wants to move or not given she was just named associate head coach at Auburn. That said this successful season might be what she needs to get that spot.

If these three (four) don’t want the job I don’t know who would be the front runner.
I just cant see Kyla Ross, getting that position. If I was an AD, while Ross certainly is a flashy name, she is not someone to build a program from the ground up. She has been an assistant coach for what a year or two, and the events that she has been responsible for have actually done worse. Who knows, for a low profile sport (relative to Clemson athletic department) they may just want someone to bring attention and forget about results. She would definitely be a risky hire on the result side of the equation.
I think they’d be wise to look at D3 coaches, especially the ones from the various U-Wisconsin campuses. Those coaches would have plenty of experience working with athletes to upgrade, getting them up to a 10.0 SV, as well as running a program with a small budget and less admin assistance than they might get at a big school like Clemson. Marie Denick? - I bet she’d love to be a HC again after being demoted when DD took over. Ashley Lawson from SEMO? Alex Hyland has been pretty successful at Brown as an assistant coach.

I definitely agree it would be better not to hire Ross or someone with minimal coaching experience. The gamble worked for Arkansas because Wieber produced results, as demonstrated by how fit/prepared UCLA’s FX team was during her tenure. Yeah, it helped her to have the connections and name-recognition within the gym world, but she also has the coaching talent to justify her HC position. It hasn’t worked out for UGA with Kupets who was also pretty unexperienced as a coach, and I think there’s an important distinction between taking over an established program vs. building one from the ground up in terms of whether years of experience are necessary.
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I like Monica Messales Nassi myself.

She’s done wonders for Rhode Island College and they shattered lots of records this past year.

Marie Denick was someone I didn’t think of and she makes a lot of sense given her experience.
Also UNC is technically an ACC school which is the same conference as Clemson.

I just hope they don’t hire Rene Lyst.
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Six Utah State gymnasts are transferring to Clemson. Can’t imagine USU is too thrilled to see their former head coach immediately poach an assistant and six gymnasts.

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After it was recently announced that Clemson had successfully secured the transfer of six gymnasts from Utah State University, for many fans of the sport the news is rather shocking. Clemson is a brand new program that won’t make its debut until two years down the road. At first glance it feels inadvisable that a prospective transfer would change schools while knowing she’d have to take a hiatus to continue her college career. Yet not one, but six gymnasts willingly pursued this option, and did it in regards to a new school that is over 1,900 miles away.

Clemson’s current head coach Amy Smith was the former head of the Utah State program. It is her personal relationship with these gymnasts that has helped facilitate this move. But even with that connection in mind, I am continuing to see gymnastics fans express bewilderment over Clemson’s announcement. How could Clemson pull off such a staggering coup and with such ease?

For the gymnastics community, it just experienced its first notable moment where the power of Clemson was finally unleashed. If there is any doubt as to why six gymnasts left Utah State for Clemson, remember the following number.


That is how many major football schools exist at the highest level of NCAA football. In college football there is a significant emphasis placed on recruiting class rankings and 247 Sports is one of the best known sites for measuring the strength of each team’s incoming class. According to 247 Sports, Clemson’s last three class rankings were as follows:

14th, 5th, 3rd

According to 247 Sports, Utah state’s last three class rankings were the following:

85th, 126th, 122nd

While there is not much in common between college football and gymnastics, in the realm of recruiting, there is. Regardless of which sport an athlete participates in, the major factors encouraging a prospect to make his or her decision are largely the same. Whether its gymnastics or football, the brand recognition, conference affiliation, academics, location, and facilities have the same effect pulling an athlete towards that particular school.


The vast differences between Utah State and Clemson in the college football pecking order gives Clemson a similar advantage in the realm of gymnastics. No matter how much of an upstart Clemson’s gymnastics program is, it has the resources to outmuscle programs that have been part of the sport for decades. All on the simple basis that Clemson has resources at its disposal that dwarfs all but a handful of programs.

If you are confused as to how this upstart program was able to land six transfers, it is because Clemson is one of the wealthiest athletic programs in the NCAA. Its athletic budget prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic was $132 Million a year. This is an institution that can offer prospective recruits (or in this case prospective transfers) the most luxurious accommodations including dorms, dining halls, training halls and recreational centers that are exclusive to its student-athletes. Clemson can not only offer accommodations that are far superior to the average college student, but accommodations that greatly exceed all but a small number of gymnastics programs.

Gymnasts who choose the Clemson Tigers not only get the benefit of a wealthy program, but one with a massive fanbase. Despite being two years out from its season debut, the Twitter account Clemson created for its gymnastics team gained a larger following than future ACC rival North Carolina State within the first week of the program being officially announced. Since then, the mostly dormant Twitter account has managed to bring itself to within 600 followers of Pitt, the second largest of its three future ACC rivals. It is probable that by the time Clemson makes its competition debut it will already have the largest social media following within its own conference.

When Clemson’s gymnastics program was first announced, those who are familiar with the NCAA power structure immediately understood that this was going to be a game changer. The arrival of Clemson was not going to be like any contemporary example of a new school joining the sport. The arrival of Clemson meant the inclusion of a program capable of immediately upending other programs and would have little standing in its way to becoming one of the strongest programs in the sport.

Even before Amy Smith was named its head coach, there was excitement over the arrival of this program simply because it had the backing of one of the richest athletic departments in the country. For those who are die hard gymnastics fans capable of reciting any page within the Code of Points from memory, but weren’t familiar with this school because it had previously lacked a gymnastics program, Clemson’s sextuplet transfer class just showcased what all the fuss was about.
Meh, possibly one of the most homer articles that I have read. Put a massive eye-roll for me on this one. Folks around there are smoking a little too much of the happy stuff.

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