Ball State has hired the next head coach of the gymnastics team, a Ball State athletics media relations member said.
Joe Hernandez confirmed to the Daily News Wednesday night that Joanna Saleem, a volunteer coach for the team in 2012, will be head coach.
Saleem spent the 2012-13 season as a volunteer coach with the Cardinals. She worked two nights a week helping athletes on the balance beam.
Brooklyn Schumacher, a junior on the Ball State gymnastics team, said Saleem will work well with the current team as head coach.
“She’s got a super light spirit in the gym,” Schumacher said. “That’s really nice to work with. I know last year we all really appreciated it because [balance beam] had been a hard event for us.”
She worked as an assistant with West Virginia as recently as 2007. Saleem touted her experience with the Mountaineers in a meeting with the team on Sunday.
“Right after she left West Virginia is when they went to the National Championship,” Schumacher said. “So she attributed some of her ability to coach to having watched national teams compete like that, so I’m confident that she knows what she’s doing.”
Nadalie Walsh was hired at Utah State in July. Schumacher said Walsh helped Saleem get a spot with the team prior to last season’s start.
“Last year [Walsh] contacted [Saleem] and said she needed some help, but she couldn’t pay her so she could work as a volunteer assistant,” Schumacher said. “On Tuesdays and Thursdays she would come in and coach us on beam because she enjoyed it, and it kind of allowed her to get her foot in the door, so that worked out in her favor.”