Jay Ronayne is in his 12th year as head gymnastics coach at Iowa State University. Ronayne has seen his Cyclones succeed both in the gym and in the classroom, while witnessing record attendance figures during his tenure. Now over a decade at Iowa State, the Worcester, Mass., native has coached multiple All-Americans, two Big 12 Gymnasts of the Year, a Big 12 Event Specialist of the Year, a pair of Big 12 Newcomer-of-the-Year recipients and guided gymnasts seven times to the NCAA National Championships in the all-around. Ronayne’s Cyclones have qualified to an NCAA Regional 10 of his 11 seasons and come within a tiebreaker of advancing to the NCAA Championships. He has also seen his squads come within 0.1 of a point from being Big 12 champions, and Ronayne has coached seven Big 12 individual champions.
During his tenure in Ames, Ronayne has seen record crowds come to watch his Cyclones inside Hilton Coliseum. The top four attended meets in Iowa State history, including a record crowd of 7,732 against Oklahoma on Feb. 8, 2013, have come under Ronayne’s watch. Iowa State consistently ranks among the nation’s best in attendance numbers, as the Cyclones have finished the season in the top 25 in national attendance for 15-straight years.
Iowa State returned to NCAA Regional competition in 2017, with a strong core of Cyclones leading the way. 2015 Big 12 All-Around champion Haylee Young also made her first trip to the NCAA Gymnastics Championships. The Cyclones
While ISU missed out on making Regionals as a team in 2016, the foundation continued to be laid for the future as Ronayne and his staff helped guide freshman Meaghan Sievers to the NCAA Gymnastics Championship on vault.
Senior Caitlin Brown qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual for the second-straight year in 2015, making it five times in the last six years Ronayne has had an individual qualify for the NCAA Championships. Brown’s senior year had many highs, tying a school record on balance beam, regular and postseason All-America honors on beam and a Big 12 championship on uneven bars, the apparatus coached by Ronayne. Big 12 All-Around champion, Haylee Young, was the first Big 12 all-around crown for Iowa State in 12 years.
The 2014 season saw the Cyclones put up another outstanding postseason run. A challenging regular season left Iowa State needing to post its season-high score at the Big 12 Championships hosted by West Virginia. Ronayne and the Cyclones delivered, finishing second with a season-high team score of 196.650 and Camille Santerre-Gervais earning the Big 12 title on uneven bars. One of the last teams to make the NCAA Regional Field, the Cyclones put up another strong performance at the Baton Rouge Regional, finishing third for the second consecutive season with a 196.350.
In 2013 Ronayne guided the Cyclones to one of the best postseason runs in program history. Iowa State’s season culminated with Michelle Shealy finishing fifth on balance beam at the NCAA Championships, the highest finish by a Cyclone in program history on the beam. Shealy also earned All-America First-Team honors on the beam. ISU started its 2013 postseason with its best score of the year at the Big 12 Championship to place second before finishing third at its NCAA Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Shealy was not the lone Cyclone to earn prestigious post-season distinctions, as senior Elizabeth Stranahan was named the Big 12 Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year and four ISU gymnasts took home All-Big 12 Championships honors.
Ronayne’s squads continually score well in the classroom and make their impact in the community. During his time at Iowa State, the Cyclones have received 65 total Academic All-Big 12 honors. In 2012, Ronayne’s team earned the Cyclone Challenge Cup, an honor that goes to the Iowa State team that tallied the most points through individual and team participation in Iowa State Student-Athlete programming.
Ronayne was named head coach at Iowa State on July 5, 2006. He came to Iowa State after four highly successful seasons (2003-2006) as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Auburn.
Ronayne’s tenure at Auburn coincided with the most productive period in school history. The Tigers competed in four consecutive NCAA Regional Championships (2003-06), one NCAA Championship (2003) and produced three All-Americans in his four years. Ronayne is credited with helping elevate the Tigers’ program into a steady top-20 finisher (three times in his four seasons) with his tireless and effective recruiting skills. Prior to his appointment, Auburn had gone six seasons finishing outside of the NCAA’s Top 20. Ronayne also helped the Tigers rank in the nation’s top five in attendance in two of his last three seasons.
Prior to joining the staff at Auburn, Ronayne was the top assistant at West Virginia University, where he helped the team to eight conference titles in the EAGL (East Atlantic Gymnastics League), 13 NCAA Regional appearances and three NCAA Championship appearances. He coached four All-Americans, seven individual qualifiers, two NCAA Regional champions and 20 conference champions. He was named the 1992 NCAA Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
A native of Worcester, Mass., Ronayne began coaching gymnastics after competing in the sport for 12 years at the USGF and NCAA levels. A 1989 graduate of Massachusetts, Ronayne received a bachelor’s degree in English. Since his graduation, Ronayne has done extensive graduate study in sport psychology and athletic coaching education.
Ronayne is married to the former Mary Hefferin, who is the Iowa State director of gymnastics operations. The couple had their first child, Jack, on Jan. 1, 2014.
Director of Gymnastics Operations
Mary Ronayne is in her 12th year as the director of gymnastics operations at Iowa Sate. She joined the Cyclone gymnastics staff from Auburn where she served as assistant director of the Aquatics Center for four years which hosted conference and national championships.
As the director of operations, Ronayne coordinates all team travel, organizes community service outreach and is the meet director for all home meets. Additionally, she is responsible for daily office operations.
Ronayne is also the director of Cyclone Gymnastics Camp held each summer and the co-owner and director of Cardinal Gymnastics Academy, a recreational and competitive club on Iowa State’s campus for young gymnasts. A 1998 graduate of West Virginia, Ronayne earned a bachelor’s of science degree in elementary education.
Ronayne is the wife of Iowa State head gymnastics coach Jay Ronayne. The couple had their first child, Jack, on Jan. 1, 2014.
Nilson Medeiros Savage
Nilson Medieros Savage is in his second season as an assistant coach on the Iowa State Gymnastics staff. Medieros Savage also serves as Iowa State’s recruiting coordinator. The Brazilian brings over three decades of coaching experience, including over a decade in the NCAA, to the ISU staff. His career has taken him all around the world, while being involved in club, college and international gymnastics.
Prior to ISU, Medieros Savage wrapped up a stint of coaching Olympic gymnast Jessica Lopez of Venezuela, who he also worked with in his time as an assistant coach at Denver. Medeiros Savage guided Lopez to a seventh place finish in the all-around and sixth on the uneven bars at the Rio 2016 Olympics, both were the highest finishes by a South American gymnast in Olympic gymnastics history. Her trip to the uneven bars final was the first event finals appearance by a Venezuelan gymnast.
During that time, Medeiros Savage also served as the President of Classic Events USA, an independent company that ran and operated the Cancún Classic, a gymnastics even that brought hundreds of Junior Olympic competitors and NCAA squads to Mexico for competition.
His time in the NCAA has seen Medeiros Savage work at a pair of current Big 12 members: Denver and Oklahoma. In his three seasons at Denver, he helped guide the Pioneers to the 2008 NCAA Gymnastics Championships and coached the aforementioned Lopez. In Norman, Medeiros Savage served as recruiting coordinator and uneven bars coach for nine years, helping guide the Sooners to five NCAA Gymnastics Championships trips.
Medeiros Savage has worked with some of the biggest and best names and organizations. In 1988, Medieros Savage spent time in the Soviet Union studying technique and strategy from some of the world’s top coaches at the time. When he moved to the United States, Medieros Savage had the opportunity to work with former Romania and USA Gymnastics National Team head coach Bela Karolyi.
From 1987-90, he served as the head coach of his native Brazil’s Junior National Team, while also serving as a coach to several members of Brazil’s Senior National Team.
Medeiros Savage graduated from Universidade Gama Filho in 1986 with a bachelor degree in physical education and a teaching certificate. He also earned a post graduate degree in exercise physiology in 1987.
Kristin White is in her first season as an assistant coach with the Iowa State gymnastics program. White works with the Cyclones on balance beam and on floor, as is responsible for ISU's floor exercise choreography.
White, a two-time All-American during her collegiate gymnastics career at Oklahoma, comes to Ames after four years as a club coach at Dynamo Gymnastics in Oklahoma City.
White has spent the past four years working at her childhood club of Dynamo Gymnastics, a two-time Region III Program of the Year in 2015 and 2016, working as a Team Coach and Choreographer. The 2016 Oklahoma State Coach of the Year, White has helped coach teams to state championships during her entire tenure at Dynamo, along with coaching Junior Olympic National Team members. Prior to her work at Dynamo, White spent a year as the Team Director and Coach at 10.0 Academy in Stow, Massachusetts.
After graduating from Oklahoma in May 2010 with her Bachelor's Degree in Human Relations, White stayed in Norman, and joined the OU coaching staff as a graduate assistant. During her time, she assisted with many aspects of operations, including coordination of team travel, operation of summer camps and design and purchasing of team apparel. She graduated with her Master's Degree in Adult and Higher Education in 2012.
As a student-athlete at Oklahoma, White helped lead Oklahoma to a trio of Big 12 team championships from 2008-10, and a second place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2010. That season, White closed out her OU gymnastics career with a pair of All-America honors on balance beam and in floor exercise. Outside of competition, she was a three-time recipient of OU's Outstanding Community Service Award, spent three years as a member of Oklahoma's Student Athlete Advisory Committee and two years on OU's Athletics Council. She graduated in May 2010 with her Bachelor's Degree in Human Relations.