René Lyst Named Sun Devil Gymnastics Head Coach

TEMPE, Ariz.—René Lyst, who served as the co-head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks for 13 years, was named head gymnastics coach at Arizona State, VP for University Athletics Ray Anderson announced Monday. Lyst’s appointment will commence pending approval from the Arizona Board of Regents.

In her 13 years at Arkansas, the Razorbacks have qualified for 11 NCAA Regionals as a team, seven NCAA Championship appearances, five top-10 finishes, and two NCAA Super Six appearances.

“I am thrilled to welcome Rene’ Lyst to our family of head coaches,” said Anderson.  “Her passion, drive, and championship expectations align perfectly with our values for academic excellence, championship performance, and integrity.   Her success in building a program at Arkansas gave us great confidence in her ability to have our program compete for an NCAA Championship.” 

This past season, Lyst helped guide Arkansas senior All-American Katherine Grable to the program’s first and second individual titles at the 2014 NCAA Championships. Grable scored the highest-winning vault score in NCAA Championship history with 9.975 and took home the individual floor title with a score of 9.962.

“The opportunity to be head gymnastics coach at Arizona State presented itself as a dream job,” said Lyst. “John Spini is a legend in our sport and it is my goal to continue and build upon Arizona State’s legacy of winning tradition. We have an extremely talented, young team and I am excited for all the possibilities in front of us. I want to thank Dr. Crow, Ray Anderson, Dawn Rogers and Amy Schramm for this opportunity and I can’t wait to be a part of Sun Devil Nation.”

Arkansas started its gymnastics program in 2003 with Lyst helping lead the Razorbacks coaching staff from the onset. Since starting the program, Arkansas has received an NCAA bid every season from 2004 on. The Razorbacks jumped up the rankings in 2005 to 15th nationally and have since never finished outside the top-13.

“It became clear, during our process to find John Spini’s successor, that Rene’ Lyst was the natural choice to begin the next era in our gymnastics program,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director Dawn Rogers. “Her respect for the program was evident from the first conversation as well as her desire to compete at the highest level.  Her commitment to the academic and athletic success of each student-athlete makes her a perfect fit for ASU.”

Lyst, who earned her doctor of education (Ed.D.) from Arkansas in 2011, also holds a tangible track record of her commitment to academic excellence with her teams posting a 3.30 GPA or better in each season. In 2010 the Razorbacks led the SEC with a 3.4369 GPA, which was 16th-best nationally.

At Arkansas, Lyst worked as the primary beam coach but assisted on all four events. She has guided the Razorbacks to top-25 national beam rankings in the last eight-straight seasons.

Prior to Arkansas, Lyst served as an assistant coach at Stanford, from 1998-2001, where the Cardinal saw three NCAA Championship appearances and won two Pac-10 titles, including its first conference championship in 1998. She also served as assistant coach at her alma mater Penn State (1997) and at UMass (1994-96). 

Lyst joins Arizona State after longtime head coach John Spini announced his retirement in January. Spini is the fourth longest tenured gymnastics coach in the NCAA and the longest head coach in ASU history with his 34 years coaching the sport, all as a Sun Devil.


 

As Co-Head Coach At Arkansas (2002-2014)

Year Overall Record Conference Postseason Final Rank

2002

Building a program

     

2003

5-14-1

T5th

NA

38

2004

11-14

6th

4th

25

2005

8-16-1

5th

4th

15

2006

12-27

6th

2nd/12th

12

2007

17-16

5th

3rd

13

2008

14-16

6th

2nd/10th

10

2009

21-14

6th

1st/5th

5

2010

13-14-1

6th

2nd/11th

11

2011

16-10-1

4th

1st/T9th

T9

2012

18-20-0

6th

2nd/6th

6

2013

12-18-1

6th

2nd/10th

10

2014

8-15-0

7th

3rd/DNQ

17

         

Totals

155-194-5

-

7 team/17 ind.

 -

 


AROUND THE NCAA

"On behalf of all of the Pac-12 coaches, I am extremely excited to welcome René Lyst to our Conference. She brings everything needed to take the ASU program to the top including a dynamic unwavering passion for all of collegiate athletics but especially our sport." - Valorie Kondos Field, UCLA 

"I'm excited for both René and ASU gymnastics. René has been very successful everywhere she has been and I'm confident that trend will continue at ASU. She is passionate, disciplined and hard working. I look forward to watching the program excel under her direction." - Danna Durante, Georgia

“I'm invested in this program as an alum, assistant coach, and as a volunteer coach over the last couple years. René’s numbers and what she accomplished at Arkansas are extremely impressive. I am excited to see René translate that success to Arizona State and help us bring home that national title.” - Maggie (Germaine) Ethier, Former ASU Gymnast and Assistant Coach


LYST BY THE NUMBERS AT ARKANSAS

43 All-Americans
11 NCAA Postseason Bids (2004-14)
7 NCAA Championship Appearances (2006, 2008-13)
5 Top-10 NCAA Finishes (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)
2 NCAA Individual Championships (2014)
2 NCAA Super Six Appearances (2009, 2012)
2 NCAA Regional Titles (2009, 2011)
2 SEC Beam Champions
2 SEC Athletes of the Year
1 SEC Freshman of the Year
1 SEC Co-Coach of the Year Honor (2008)
1 NCAA South Central Regional Co-Coach of the Year Honor (2009)
1 SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year
3.30+ Cumulative Team GPA 

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