Washington Names Jen Llewellyn Head Gymnastics Coach
SEATTLE – The University of Washington has named Jen Llewellyn as its next head gymnastics coach, Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen announced Monday. Llewellyn, the eighth head coach in program history, comes to Washington after nine successful seasons in the same position at Lindenwood University.
"I couldn't be more excited to welcome Jen and her family to the UW," said Cohen. "It was evident that she has a passion, commitment and vision for developing young women, both in and out of competition, and the tremendous success she has experienced exemplifies this on every level. Those qualities, coupled with her local ties to Seattle and her experience as a student-athlete in the conference, make her an unbelievable fit for our department. We can't wait for her to get started on Montlake."
"I am deeply humbled and excited to join the Husky family," said Llewellyn. "The opportunities that UW and the Seattle area provide are boundless. There is a rich history and foundation that has been established by previous UW gymnasts and coaches and it is an honor to be a part of that tradition. I am eager to meet with the team to collectively work together to build a culture of great success and excellence. The passion and enthusiasm that Jen Cohen has for the department is contagious and I am grateful for the opportunity she and Jason (Butikofer) have provided. I am equally thankful for my nine years at Lindenwood and the many student-athletes, families, and support staff that I had the privilege to work with. The future is bright for the UW Gymnastics program and I am honored to help guide and lead an incredible group of young women, now and into the future. Go Dawgs!"
Since taking over at Lindenwood in 2013, Llewellyn has led the Lions to six conference championships and three USAG National Championships. Three times she has been named the Midwest Independent Conference (MIC) Head Coach of the Year, taking home that honor in 2015, 2016, and 2018. Llewellyn has also twice been named the USA Gymnastics Head Coach of the Year, in 2015 and 2016. She has helped the Lions earn three different Gymnast of the Year awards from the Midwest Independent Conference, including the 2015 Gymnast of the Year, the 2015 Newcomer of the Year, and the 2018 Senior Athlete of the Year.
Llewellyn coached the Lions to their first-ever NCAA Regionals appearance after Lindenwood finished 2019 by winning the MIC championship and heading to the Baton Rouge Regional as the third-ever Division II program to qualify for NCAA Regionals. The Lions have also had eight different individuals qualify for Regionals in Llewellyn's time as head coach, including three in 2021.
Lindenwood has been a force in the MIC during Llewellyn's time: the Lions have won each of the last six MIC championships, earning scores over 195.000 in four of those five conference championship meets. Over her nine seasons, Lindenwood has earned 78 All-Conference honors, including 18 such honors in 2021.
Lindenwood also earned four WCGA All-American honors in 2021, giving the Lions 64 All-Americans during Llewellyn's tenure. Llewellyn herself has garnered plenty of awards as well, including being honored as the Division II Regional Coach of the Year each of the last two years.
In the classroom, student-athletes have excelled under Llewellyn. The Lions achieved the highest GPA in program history this past year, posting a 3.84 to top the previous record of 3.82 from 2020. Her student-athletes have racked up numerous MIC Scholar-Athlete and USA Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete honors, and in 2017 two members of the program became the first Academic All-Americans in team history.
Prior to her time leading the program, she served as a graduate assistant for Lindenwood after serving in a student coach role in her fifth year at Oregon State.
In June of 2018, Llewellyn graduated as part of the 2018 NCAA Women Coaches Academy class No. 45 that was held in Denver, Colo. The NCAA Women Coaches Academy, hosted in partnership between the Alliance of Women Coaches and the NCAA, is a four-day educational training available to NCAA coaches of all experience levels, and is designed for women coaches who are ready to increase their individual effectiveness by learning advanced skills and strategies that directly affect their personal and team success.
A native of Kenmore, Washington and graduate of Inglemoor High School, Llewellyn, formerly Jen Kesler, was a First Team All-American during her collegiate career at Oregon State, finishing second in the nation on bars as a senior. That was one of three All-American awards for Llewellyn in her collegiate career. She would also win a Pac-10 championship in 2009 on bars and an NCAA Regionals championship in 2008 on bars. She competed for the Gymnastics East Club locally in Seattle.
She married her husband, Cody, in 2017 and they welcomed their son, William Grayson, in 2020.