Gym Devil Coaches Earn Regional Awards
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – After a historic season, the Sun Devil Gymnastics coaching staff received WCGA regional awards, with Jay Santos being named the Regional Coach of the Year and Jessica Santos and Kristin White earning the Regional Assistant Coaches of the Year award.
For Jay and Jess Santos, they are familiar with regional coaching awards. Jay Santos was the Regional Head Coach of the Year in 2016 with Eastern Michigan and in 2018 with ASU. Jess Santos earned regional honors in 2016 alongside Jay as well as in 2007 at Pittsburgh. For White, this is her first regional coaching award.
The awards are well-deserved after Arizona State finished the season ranked No. 9, the best finish the program has seen since 2006. The team was ranked as high as No. 7, its first time in the top 10 since 2006. ASU had four team scores over 197.000, which has not been achieved in this program since 2004. Three of those scores are in the top 15 in the Sun Devil record book. The Gym Devils have surpassed 196.000 for 10-straight meets. As a team, there have been 31 event titles and 48 scores of 9.900-plus.
In postseason, Arizona State was in the Pac-12 Championship night session for the first time and took fourth, its best finish since 2006. The team received a No. 11 seed at regionals and advanced to the regional finals, where the Sun Devils took third. Individuals Cairo Leonard-Baker and Hannah Scharf qualified for nationals on bars and in the all-around, respectively.
Head coach Jay Santos' specialty events are vault and bars, which were both ranked in the top 20 all season. The team was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation on both vault and bars. The Gym Devils are currently on a streak of 17-straight meets (dating back to 2020) scoring above 49.000 on bars, a program record. On vault, that streak is up to nine in a row, which ties the program record.
Associate head coach Jess Santos primarily coaches the beam squad, which was ranked in the top 25 all season, getting as high as No. 12 in the nation. At the NCAA Regional Finals, ASU scored a 49.450, the highest beam total since 2007. There was a streak of seven meets in a row reaching a 49.000-plus. There were also eight individual beam scores of 9.900 or better.
Assistant coach Kristin White's focus is on the floor where the Sun Devils were ranked as high as No. 9. Arizona State score a 49.400 twice this season on floor and reached 49.000 10 times, including eight in a row. There were 17 scores of 9.900 or better on floor this season.