Former Blugold gymnastics coach named to NCGA Hall of Fame

Jean DeLisle coached the UW-Eau Claire gymnastics team for 15 years

Claire Schoenemann

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DeLisle holds the second-longest tenure in the UW-Eau Claire Gymnastics program history, second to the program founder Mary Mero who coached 21 seasons of Blugold Gymnastics.

Former UW-Eau Claire gymnastics coach Jean DeLisle is to be named to the class of 2023 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Hall of Fame in recognition of her work throughout her 15 seasons of coaching the Blugolds. 

DeLisle coached the UW-Eau Claire Gymnastics team from the beginning of the 2003-2004 gymnastics season until her retirement from coaching in 2018. 

During her time at UW-Eau Claire, DeLisle was named WIAC Coach of the Year on three separate occasions. 

According to Blugold Athletics, DeLisle coached a pair of national champions during her time at UW-Eau Claire, Theresa Lynch (floor exercise, 2006), and Michaela McCamey-Metropulos (balance beam, 2012). 

During DeLisle’s 15 seasons of coaching at UW-Eau Claire, Blugold gymnasts earned 13 individual All-America statuses and 37 All-America performances. 

I am extremely proud, not just of myself, but I am proud of all the people who got me there. I couldn’t have done it without so many people, and especially the athletes,” DeLisle said. 

Theresa Lynch, 2006 floor exercise national champion, was coached under DeLisle for five years at UW-Eau Claire. 

According to Lynch, DeLisle taught her and the team to focus on positives, the Blugold team atmosphere and always pushing one another to get better.

“She was very nurturing, but then she also had the other side of that coach mentality. She had both that strictness and that softness at the same time. It was more like she made Rau Claire feel like home for me,” Lynch said. 

DeLisle said that all the colleagues and athletes at UW-Eau Claire that surrounded her are what allowed her to have, and enjoy, every day she coached at UW-Eau Claire. 

“The people that I was there with, the athletes, my peer coaches, my assistants, the UW- Eau Claire staff, I thank them from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity and the experience that I had. Those athletes took me on the ride,” DeLisle said. 

DeLisle holds the second-longest tenure in the UW-Eau Claire Gymnastics program history, second to the program founder Mary Mero who coached 21 seasons of Blugold Gymnastics. 

Lynch said that all-around, coach DeLisle was in-tune with everything as a coach. She was aware of each athlete’s academic and personal struggles, and constantly supported her team. 

“I think it is a great fit, I am proud of her. She was a very hardworking and dedicated coach to the team. She made many sacrifices for us and really showed us who she was and her passion for the sport. I’m really just proud of her,“ Lynch said. 

DeLisle said that her time at UW-Eau Claire was all good, but better than that. Her induction into the NCGA Hall of Fame is beyond her wildest dreams. 

Since DeLisle’s retirement from coaching in 2018, she said she has enjoyed traveling and having time on her hands to spend with other people she loves. 

“Coaching at UW-Eau Claire was some of the best years of my life, honestly. Overall, my experience there with the athletes and the Eau Claire staff, I feel really blessed and lucky that that is where I landed, “ DeLisle said. 

Schoenemann can be reached at [email protected].