Jay Ronayne is in his eleventh 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. In his six years at Iowa State, the Worcester, Mass., native has had two Big 12 Gymnasts of the Year, a pair of Big 12 Newcomer-of-the-Year recipients and guided three gymnasts to the NCAA National Championships in the all-around. Ronayne's Cyclones have qualified to an NCAA Regional every year and come within a tiebreaker of advancing to the NCAA Championships. He has also seen his squads come within .1 of a point from being Big 12 champions, and Ronayne has coached five Big 12 individual champions.
During his tenure in Ames, Ronayne has seen record crowds come to watch his Cyclones inside Hilton Coliseum. The top three attended meets in Iowa State history, including a record crowd of 7,224 against Minnesota, 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 11-straight years.
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 43 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.
In 2012, Celine Paulus became the first Iowa State gymnast to win the vault title outright at the Big 12 Championship. Paulus scored 9.950 to earn the league title, a tally that tied for the fourth highest in program history. Paulus was not the lone Cyclone to shine at the 2012 Big 12 Championship, as Iowa State produced its best team score at the event since 2006, and Michelle Browning tied for second on vault.
Ronayne was named head coach at Iowa State on July 5, 2006. He came to Iowa State after four 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. They have one son, Jack.
Director of Gymnastics Operations
Mary Ronayne is in her eleventh 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 and they have one son, Jack.
Katie Minasola joined the Iowa State gymnastics staff in July 2011 after seven seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan State.
At Iowa State, Minasola focuses on the Cyclone beam squad and assists in the choreography of the floor routines. Both the floor and beam teams were fixtures in the top-25 national rankings during the 2012 campaign. Minasola helped guide Michelle Shealy to second-place honors on beam at the Cyclones' 2012 NCAA regional competition.
Minasola also coordinates the Iowa State recruiting efforts, a role she also had during her time at Michigan State. Minasola's position at Michigan State also included working with the floor exercise competitors on choreography for routines, and she was the team's academic liaison.
Minasola has coached her teams to seven-consecutive NCAA Regional appearances, including the Cyclones in 2012.
Minasola's college career started at the University of Massachusetts, where she claimed school records on both the uneven bars and balance beam. She won the Atlantic 10 Conference championship on bars in 2002 with a 9.950 mark.
After the UMass gymnastics program was discontinued, she transferred to Central Michigan to close out her career. In her one season with CMU, Minasola took down the school record on bars with two perfect 10 performances. She went on to take the Mid-American Conference and regional title in the event to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Prior to collegiate competition, Minasola competed in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials, finishing eighth in the all-around which earned her the opportunity to serve as an alternate for the 1996 U.S. Olympic team. Minasola helped the U.S. earn gold at the 1995 Pan American Games with a fourth-place finish on the balance beam. In 1994, Minasola finished eighth in the All-Around at the Coca-Cola National Championships. Her list of accomplishments also includes a first-place finish on beam and in the all-around at the 1993 Junior Olympic National Championships.
Minasola earned her degree from Massachusetts in 2003.
Nilson Medeiros Savage
Nilson Medieros Savage is in his first season on the Iowa State gymnastics staff during the 2017 season. Medieros Savage, comes to Ames with three decades of coaching experience, including a decade in the NCAA, that includes being involved in club, college and international gymnastics.
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.