Nadalie Walsh is parting ways with the Ball State gymnastics team. She was named Utah State’s head gymnastics coach on Friday.
 


In six seasons as Ball State’s head coach, Walsh has seen the program make a huge turnaround. 


“I feel like I’m leaving my baby,” Walsh said. “This is a place where everything has been built from the ground up. We got a new facility and my athletes are very talented and very capable, so it’s bittersweet.”


In 2008, one year after Walsh’s hire, the team’s average score was 189.292. By 2010 that number had reached 191.91, and last season the team averaged 193.108. 


Walsh also guided Ball State to its highest team Regional Qualifying Score in school history last season. The team set school records for both team vault score and highest individual floor score as well. 


Walsh said while the move is exciting, it’s still going to be difficult for her.  


“It is very hard,” Walsh said. “I feel like it took every single bit of me to make Ball State what it is now. I’m really pleased to be able to leave it in a position where the next person coming in can just continue on with the success and progress that we’ve been able to have here.” 


Walsh’s experience with Ball State will benefit her moving forward. She is set to take over a struggling Utah State team. 


Despite a rich history in gymnastics, Walsh said the Aggies have plenty of room for improvement. 


“Maybe eight years ago, they were always at Regionals,” she said. “They have been to nationals in the past as well, so I feel like there is a lot of promise at that school to make that program to be one of the top in the league. Maybe not right away, but it has certainly shown that it could be.


“As a coach I am excited to be able to go in there and do my best to make that program a lot better than it is right now.”


That is what Walsh accomplished with the Cardinals, and she feels that her “baby” can continue to grow in her absence. 


“I’ve always thought Ball State could be one of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference,” she said. “I don’t see why they can’t strive for that, whether I’m here or not.”